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How COVID-19 Has Affected Crime

How COVID-19 Has Affected Crime

The COVID-19 pandemic has, and continues to ravage its way across the planet with over 90 million recorded cases and more than 2 million deaths worldwide! Here in the UK, we have been greatly affected by the pandemic and have had to put the population under safety restrictions such as social distancing, numerous lockdowns and limiting time spent outside. These restrictions have had huge knock-on effects with various aspects of society being massively affected. There have been some positive outcomes such as up to a 20% reduction in crime in some areas. However, as is the same with any crisis, some people try and take advantage of the situation and exploit those who are most vulnerable. Cases of cybercrime, domestic violence, non-residential burglary and fraud having risen significantly.

Due to the public being stuck inside for much of the day, domestic violence cases have skyrocketed with up to 7% increases in some locations and mass furlough and unemployment has led to huge financial strain being placed onto families, often meaning people revert to crime as a means to get by. Commercial theft and robbery have both seen sharp increases due to the influx of sites and premises being left unmanned. There has also been a sore in demand for essential items such as flour, toilet roll and sanitary goods which has been the catalyst in many violent eruptions in shops and supermarkets over the past 9 months. Shops were often caught unprepared for such high amounts of shoppers in a such a short period. Many stores struggled to manage the store numbers and many shops reverted to hiring professional security teams to manage and abide COVID-19 compliance laws such as social distancing and ensuring everyone wears a mask. COVID Marshals have helped many companies handle the different, and ever changing regulations made by the government. We have noticed that it takes a huge stress off of businesses and allows them to focus on their daily operations during these difficult times.

The past 9 months have been pretty much overwhelmed by COVID-19 and it’s the same in the media. Sky News, ITV, BBC and all other news outlets across the world have monitored the pandemic closely and kept us all up to date with infection rates, death rates and new laws. But has the increased coverage done our country any good? Trust in the government has plummeted, anxiety and fear has rapidly spread across the country which has led to a huge flood of fake goods such as Testing kits and PPE. It was also noted that people were impersonating key workers to try and rinse the benefits they are offered, such as early access to shops and other incentives.

Looking forward, as the pandemic beings to relax and ease, we will see old crime patterns start to reappear such as the illegal transportation of people, cross border drug smuggling, burglary and drink driving offenses. As the attention of law enforcement gets drawn back towards physical crimes, that will further allow cybercrime to take over the internet and make it a very unsafe place for users of the internet. As we move through different phases of the pandemic, we may see certain sharp rises in specific crimes such as anti-social behaviour, criminal damage and assault. Especially if tensions keep rising with the increasingly tougher lockdown restrictions we are being placed under. It may be just a matter of time before groups of people start joining together and protesting against the government in efforts to get restrictions eased.

Due to people not being able to move from city to city, country to country it is almost guaranteed that when restrictions are eased that there will be an explosion in movement across the country. Many people will be visiting their favourite sea side spots with family and friends. This is where we will also notice a jump in petty crime such as pickpocketing. Petty criminals are attracted to busy, crowded locations so if you do plan on getting away when restrictions are eased make sure you pay attention to your surroundings.

You can keep track of the UK’s COVID-19 infection rate here

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