Could crimes rise as lockdown is eased?
Throughout lockdown, the eerie notion of little crime was felt throughout the county.
With the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reporting crime rates dropping as low as 9% in 2020 compared to the previous year of 2019. In numbers, 1.4 million less crimes were reported to the police force.
The worry that as the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced in March the Roadmap for the gradual release out of lockdown that crime would go back up.
Through the weeks in England as lockdown and legal restrictions are gradually relaxed, the influx of crimes seen in the papers and in the news has already seen a dramatic spike.
Looking through the pages of the newspaper or news apps on phones nearly every other headline involves a new crime that has been committed.
On 17th May during the regular Good Morning Britain show, Susanna Reid questioned the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan about the 60% rise of knife crimes during his time as mayor.
Khan replied, insisting that over the year crimes had fallen with new measures being implemented to help combat the rise.
Ola Junle, the Strategy Directorate for the London Mayor’s Office for Police and Crime said, “Both the Mayor and Commissioner recognise that burglary has been on the rise across London and the Mayor’s top priority is the safety of Londoners, and he is doing everything in his power to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour across the capital”.
Junle continued to say, “the mayor committed £85 million of new funding to go towards tackling violent crime and burglary in the capital. This has allowed more resources to be invested in the police response to burglary.”
Now pubs, bars are open and even the sun has decided to make a surprise appearance, it could be that the crime rate correlates to the larger amounts of people out drinking and socialising once again.
The last published figures were for 2016 and 2017 which found 46.2% of crimes committed that were reported and were alcohol related.
And with the average difference of crime reported from March to May last year being -23% there is little chance this number will remain this low.
With around 20% less crime being committed and reported on the news, it will appear as though crimes are being more regular and more dangerous, but it could be our minds not being as used to them as they were in previous years.