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Sustained falls in recorded crime reported throughout Coronavirus lockdown period

27 May 2020

PROVISIONAL DATA from police forces across England and Wales shows a continued reduction in recorded crime of 25% throughout the Coronavirus lockdown period.

The 25% fall in recorded crime compared to the same period in 2019, and as measured across the last four weeks to 10 May, excludes fraud (which is recorded centrally by Action Fraud). Falls were recorded for residential burglary, vehicle crime (including the theft of and from vehicles), assaults (including both Grievous Bodily Harm and Actual Bodily Harm) and robbery committed against individuals, rape and shoplifting.

Police forces have also observed decreases in call volumes to 999 and 101, and have also witnessed falls in the number of cases brought to police relating to mental health and missing persons. There has been a 4% rise in domestic abuse incidents.

Police data measures concerns that have been brought to the attention of the police. Not all incidents will result in a crime being identified and recorded, nor will hidden abuse be captured in these data.

Assaults on Emergency Services workers saw a 14% rise. This is a snapshot of an offence type which is typically recorded in low volumes. Data may therefore fluctuate between snapshots. The 14% rise is largely due to increases in assaults without injury, which may be driven by scenarios such as common assault on staff.

Forces are buoyed by a low absence figure of 7.3% across the UK.

Commenting on the figures, Chief Constable Andy Cooke (the National Police Chiefs’ Council's lead for crime operations) said: “These figures are not a surprise as members of the public have largely stayed at home during the lockdown period. Forces use any spare capacity they have during lockdown to focus on proactively pursuing criminals, completing complex investigations and reducing violence. As the lockdown measures ease, we will bear down crime and do all we can to try and prevent it rising to pre-lockdown highs. We are confident in our resilience and we will work closely with partners across law enforcement and the criminal justice system to meet challenges that arise as we move through the stages of the national response to COVID-19.”

Martin Hewitt, chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, added: “Policing remains in a strong position and we are not wasting any of the extra capacity this crisis has brought. Forces have been able to do more proactive policing and reduce backlogs in complex investigations, which will lead to justice being done for many victims, removing criminals from communities and being ahead of crime before it happens.”

The figures are intended as a guide only and trends may change as more data becomes available. Crime type breakdowns, and their accompanying data notes, are provided in a data pack.