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Vicky is a research fellow on the ‘Policing the Pandemic’ project looking at the role of police enforcement in Scotland during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having worked for the Scottish Government prior to and through the pandemic, she has an extensive understanding of COVID-19 policy and its impact on crime statistics.

The project brings together quantitative information on Fixed Penalty Notices (also known as ‘Covid fines’ or ‘FPNs’) and interviews from police officers who were issuing fines as well as members of the public who received FPNs.

Vicky is involved in the quantitative analysis of a unique dataset of FPNs issued by Police Scotland. This data has been linked at an individual level to a range of health and social administrative data to understand the relationships between non-compliance and vulnerability. The data is linked securely in the national Safe Haven environment, meaning police never see an individual’s health records, nor do NHS staff have access to an individual’s crime records. All data held are anonymised.

This research is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation’s rapid response to COVID-19.

Recent Publications 

Gorton, V., Matthews, B., McVie, S., Murray, K. (2022) Police Use of Covid-19 Fixed Penalty Notices in Scotland: Trends in enforcement from March 2020 to May 2021. University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Available here.

Gorton, V., McVie, S. Covid-19 fines in Scotland: What we know so far (SCADR Blog, 17 August 2022).

Gorton, V., McVie, S., Murray, K. Partygate raises important questions about rules, guidance and compliance during COVID (LSE COVID-19 Blog, 6 May 2022)

McVie, S., Murray, K. Matthews, B., Gorton, V. Policing the Pandemic (1919 magazine, January 2022).



University of Edinburgh


School of Law,
University of Edinburgh,
Old College,
South Bridge,
EH8 9YL.

Research Themes

Criminal Justice and Health

No Publications Available

No Projects Available

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