The effect of the Coronavirus on crime

What has been (and possibly will be) the effect of COVID 19 on crime?

I would imagine that with people staying at home, there will be fewer ‘external’ type of crime such as robberies, car theft, and muggings.

But there will be more ‘interior’ crimes such as domestic violence and child abuse.

These are just my assumptions, has anyone heard facts on this issue?

“Let’s order sushi and not pay!”

It might embolden career criminals. Police might have their hands fuller with more tasks than usual, thus preventing them from being able to respond as quickly as before.

Well, the guys who were already in masks don’t stick out of the crowd.

There is thought to have been a significant spike in the number of Coronavirus scams, but not sure if that’s just scammers retargeting their already existing efforts to Coronavirus or if there are more scam attempts.

I would hazard a guess that there has been an overall uplift of scams because it is something that can be done by people on their computers at home. Using the same logic I’m betting the number of people at home writing computer viruses or hacking into corporate websites is also on the increase.

However I cannot find any evidence this is the case.

Besides having a son who is an EMT, I have a daughter who is NYPD (not humblebragging. Can’t help it if the truth sounds so good). She calls me at least once a week (again, not a brag!) to make sure I’m OK and that her brother (who lives in our basement apartment-- see? Not everything is a brag) is staying away from her mother.

She tells me that 40% of her precinct is sick, making her the senior patrol officer on her shift (midnight to 8) with only 4 years on the job (I swear to God, I’m just reporting the truth). She says larceny is way, way down. Almost non-existent. Street crime is also very low. Which is very good news seeing as how they are short on police. However, on Sunday she had two DOAs and another today. This is compared to 2 DOAs in her previous 4 years on the force. Also seeing a sharp increase are EDP calls.

What is an EDP call?

I think it may be a lot easier to get mugged or carjacked if you’re out late for some reason. It’d be easy to mug someone right on Ventura Boulevard. Hardly any witnesses.

I’ve read that this is a domestic violence nightmare. Me personally, the only crime aspect I’ve noticed is that I can drive 100mph on the highway to work every day and it seems to be not noticed by the cops, who understandably don’t want to interact with people unless they have to.

Emotionally Disturbed Person.

And yes, domestic violence calls are also up.

“Live PD” had a COVID-19 special this past weekend. At least one precinct on there has found capturing career criminals to be easier due to them standing out while law-abiding citizens are mostly staying home.

I work in the field of child abuse, and there are much fewer reports now. But that’s not because it isn’t happening, but rather that it isn’t seen. W depend on the kids being “visible in the community” so that we hear from teachers, neighbors, police, etc. Right now it’s all happening behind closed doors.

In the Bay Area there was a report recently that crime is way down.

This article from USA Today says street crime is way down, but domestic violence is up. “Crime rates plunged in cities and counties across the U.S. over the second half of March as the coronavirus pandemic drove millions of residents to stay inside their homes.” “Massive drops in traffic and person stops – as much as 92% in some jurisdictions – helped drive sharp declines in drug offenses and DUIs. Thefts and residential burglaries decreased with fewer stores open and homes unoccupied, and some agencies logged fewer assaults and robberies.”

Better hang onto your van Goghs extra tight, though: https://www.cnn.com/style/article/van-gogh-stolen-covid-19-intl-scli/index.html

Hasn’t been the case in Spain or Italy. In fact, the OP’s guess matches our existing data.

Several countries have come up with ways to report that involve doing things such as ask for a nonexistent medication at the pharmacy. The Spanish police have received calls from unexpected sources reporting having been asked to do so by abused parties. Lots of stores which normally wouldn’t have a guard now do (in case some asshole decides to get stupid about queing or occupancy): while they’re not cops, people know that they can call the cops if needed.

I have to interact with the police on a daily basis at work, and I’ve asked them about this in the Louisville, KY area. They’re not making many traffic stops (we’re not in a “stay and hunker down” situation. Non-essential businesses close at 8, but there’s no curfew or anything). A subdivision recently had several cars broken into, but there was no report taken. CPS is only going out on severe child abuse cases.

This is from the Associated Press:

“In Chicago, one of America’s most violent cities, drug arrests have plummeted 42% in the weeks since the city shut down, compared with the same period last year.”

"Across Latin America, crime is down to levels unseen in decades."Killings are down, and the gangsters aren’t harassing so much,’’ Eduardo Perdomo, a 47-year-old construction worker, said while getting off a bus in San Salvador. “I think they’re afraid of catching the virus, and they aren’t going out.’’ El Salvador reported an average of two killings a day last month, down from a peak of 600 a day a few years ago.”

Without giving away any secrets I’ll just say it’s harder to find crime when you’re not looking for it.

Let’s just say that as a supervisor if I hear one of my guys pulling over a car I better get an immediate call telling me that either the car was on fire or the driver was shooting at them. Or both.

Yeah, that’s what I am hearing from cops around here. They don’t want to advertise that they are being far more lax for fear of opening up a criminal free for all, and publicly they say that they are enforcing the law as they normally would, but this is exactly what they told me that unless there are blood, bombs or dead bodies, everything is on hold, except for domestic violence and child abuse.

I get the jail reports every day so I can see if one of my clients are on it (the courts are hearing bail matters) and DV is about the only misdemeanor charge that the magistrates are even setting cash bail amounts on.