Crime in England, Wales decline amid pandemic lockdown

Crime in England and Wales declined by almost a third in the first two full months of lockdown imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the UK’s Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

The ONS data on Wednesday estimated a significant 32 per cent reduction in total crime excluding fraud and computer misuse compared with a two-month — April, May — average in the pre-lockdown period, reports Xinhua news agency.

Reductions were seen across many types of crime, with theft offences falling in April and May to almost half the level recorded in the same two months in 2019, said the ONS.

Billy Gazard from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice said: “There was a significant fall in crime at the height of the coronavirus pandemic across England and Wales.

“As this period coincided with the majority of people spending long periods at home during lockdown, it is not unexpected.”

One exception were trends in drug offences, where levels rose by 22 per cent in April and 44 per cent in May compared with April and May 2019.

Meanwhile, findings from the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) indicated that public perceptions of the police during this time were largely positive, with 91 per cent of adults satisfied with the way local police were responding.

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