Coronavirus: Crime plummets across US amid lockdown

As Americans stay at home to stop the spread of coronavirus, crime rates have begun to collapse in big cities

Gino Spocchia
Thursday 26 March 2020 19:23 GMT
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Crime levels have declined across the US amid the coronavirus outbreak
Crime levels have declined across the US amid the coronavirus outbreak

Crime has plummeted in some of America’s biggest cities, after millions were ordered to stay at home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Without crowded public spaces, transport use and open businesses, criminals have almost nowhere to commit offences. That comes as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the US exceeded 55,000.

New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have all recorded a drop in crime since measures to deal with the outbreak were introduced.

“We saw an immediate drop in most categories in crime,” said New York City’s police commissioner on Tuesday.

The commissioner, Dermot F Shea, revealed that there had been a 25 per cent decline in the number of serious crimes, such as burglary and assault, reported to the NYPD compared to the previous week.

Other sex crimes were down by almost a half. Mr Shea described the decrease as “dramatic”, saying: “I can’t imagine that the crimes aren’t happening. I’m sure that there’s many crimes happening.”

Overall crime in Los Angeles is down 5.6 per cent on the same period last year, according to the LAPD and the Los Angeles Times.

Last week, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti told CNN that “Crime is actually way down and generosity is way up”. Adding that LA police would ask businesses to comply with lockdown measures “for their own health”.

“This is different than a riot or a public safety emergency, this is a public health emergency, and we have to remember that it’s on all of us to do this.”, said the Mayor.

Buffalo, New York, police captain Jiff Rinaldo said on Sunday that as businesses closed, crime levels dropped: “A lot of crime occurs around commerce. If you don’t have commerce, you don’t have crime.”

According to the InvestigativePost, daily arrests in Buffalo have fallen to as little as two, compared to 20 arrests typical on a normal day in the city.

Cops in Chicago arrested 60 people last Friday, compared to 201 made the previous Friday. The city’s Interim Police Superintendent, Charlie Beck, told CWB Chicago that the CPD’s arrests numbers were at a historic low.

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