The transition from ‘Mode 1’ to ‘Mode 2’ knowledge-production has created an explicit focus on research impact which is reflected in the funding and organisation of research, the relationships between research and users, and the focus of research studies. It has also led to efforts to understand pathways to impact, although these studies have so far had little to say specifically about crime-related research. This paper comprises an effort to address this gap and explore variations in research-user relationships within research into policing and crime prevention. An ESRC-funded project researching the crime consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, of which we were team members, faced several challenges in terms of data access, data collection and the need to deliver strong academic research outputs, as well as maintaining a clear focus on real world research impacts. This led to a co-productive relationship between the researchers and a range of external partners. There is a dearth of literature theorising the nature of such researcher-user relationships, despite some rich accounts of individual experiences. This paper uses examples drawn from the writings of those who have been involved in research impacts (or who have been thwarted in their attempts), to set alongside the project on which we have been working. From this we present a typology of researcher-user relationships, that we hope will further theoretical discussion in the field and might usefully be applied more broadly to other areas of criminological interest.