How the Pandemic Affected Crime Rates in the US

National News
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The country is experiencing a pandemic unlike anything in over 100 years. Massive changes have impacted everyone’s lives, including an overall drop in the crime rate across the nation. However, gun violence has been on the rise over the past few months. Here’s how the Coronavirus Pandemic has affected crime rates in the U.S.

People are Staying Home

With so many Americans stuck inside, activities such as driving a car, going to work, and walking around the city have decreased. With that, cities have reported an overall drop in criminal activity. Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. have all reported a drop of over 30% of all crime, including violent crimes such as assault and robbery. 

Homicides and Shootings

Although there is a notable drop in most other crimes, homicides and shootings are holding steady. This troubling information makes the normally good news of crime dropping otherwise irrelevant and disheartening. Some believe that gun violence and homicides remaining the same is linked to the pandemic, but it’s difficult to say given such a short amount of time.

Experts are citing the idea of “the perfect storm.” Court systems and jails are not operating as usual, which may cause more criminals to be out on the streets rather than in the justice system. This is leading to an increase in the need for legal representation, like this Riverside criminal defense lawyer, as well as victims seeking compensation. 

Underlying Factors

Not surprisingly, many of the same risk factors that affect the crime rates under normal conditions have been amplified by the pandemic. Economic inequality, poverty conditions, feelings of hopelessness, and too many guns in the hands of the wrong people are all problems that have come to the forefront and may be causing people to react in ways they normally wouldn’t. 

Drug Crimes and Burglaries 

Compared to previous years, statistics are showing a significant reduction in drug related crimes, or at least drug related arrests. The pandemic may have affected the number of proactive police tactics that typically lead to more drug related arrests. 

Some cities have reported increased property theft, including car theft and robberies of commercial buildings. As people stay indoors, they don’t necessarily have a close watch on their vehicles or places of business. This gives some the opportunity to take advantage of the situation, which is likely the reason for the 30% average increase in major cities. 

Police Stops

Not surprisingly, with everyone staying home the police have made significantly less stops since the start of the pandemic. Cities such as Chicago, Philadelphia, and L.A. have experienced a decrease in police stops ranging between ⅓ decrease to 50%. 

Overall, it’s too soon to say whether crime has decreased or simply going undetected due to changes in policing. However, there is a stark decrease for most crime. If you are leaving the house, remain aware of your surroundings since gun violence has remained steady during this pandemic. 

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