Crime stats show decrease in crime as a result of Covid Lockdown
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Today, Thursday (12 May) the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released the latest crime stats for England and Wales. The quarterly statistics clearly show significant decreases in some areas of crime in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland in comparison to the same twelve months the year before.
During this period overall crime has dropped by -5.3 percent. Nationally, Leicestershire is ranked 18 out of 43 forces for all crime, with 88,573 crimes being recorded between January 2020 and December 2020 based on rate of offences per 1000 population. In the majority of forces, there has been a decrease in the number of all recorded crimes between January - Dec 2020 compared with the previous twelve months.
Decreases have also been recorded in theft (-29.4%), residential burglary (-30.9%) robbery (-20.2%) and possession of weapons (-11.1%) during this period.
However, violence against the person has increased by 10.2% percent when compared to the previous 12 months, equating to an additional 3068 offences.
This increase is attributable to a number of factors which have caused increases for the past 12 months, such as:
- A change in the recording of violence against the person offences whereby all common assaults are now reviewed and often re-classified as actual bodily harm, which sits within violence with injury. As yearly comparison analysis is used, a significant difference is expected until the data is compared to data which incorporates the changes listed.
- Data integrity training which has seen 2100 officers undertake training which improves awareness of crime classification.
- Dedicated Decision Makers (DDMs) funded by the force since 2019, with a large increase in staff in March 2020 who review all incidents to ensure all correct crime classifications are applied to incidents as necessary, and amend any classifications as necessary.
As year on year comparisons are made, we do not expect to see a percentage decrease in violence against the person until comparisons are made between time periods which both incorporate the changes which is likely to be in the next reporting period.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said:
“We all know that life has been very different over the last year and there is no doubt that the pandemic has influenced significant changes in criminal behaviour. Steadfastly throughout, the police have carried out our duty to protect people and tackle criminality. As we open up the night time economy and have more contact with each other, I want to reassure you that our policing plans are in place to continue to help keep people safe.”
“Although some crimes have decreased we have seen an increase in violence against the person across the last 12 months. Much of this increase is associated with better recording. We continue working with partners to ensure that we are putting resources in the right places at the right time, that we work together to support victims and prevent violent crime.”
Violence with injury is shown in the statistics as increasing by 38 percent. However, this is due to improved recording practices and is not reflective on an increase in actual crime.
In the past month Leicestershire Police have seen a number of successful arrests, charges and convictions in court following dedicated investigations carried out by officers and staff. Details of recent cases and convictions can be found here Charged and In Court: April 2021 | Leicestershire Police (leics.police.uk)