The Office for National Statistics' crime figures show decrease in crime in Leicestershire and Rutland due to Covid-19 lockdowns
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows a 'covid effect' on crime in Leicestershire and Rutland.
The quarterly statistics clearly show significant decreases in some areas of crime in Leicestershire and Rutland in comparison to the same twelve months the year before.
During this period overall crime has dropped by -5.3 per cent.
Rupert Matthews, Police and Crime Commissioner for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, said: "These latest crime figures are indicative of the pressures placed upon our Police Force here in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland but also represent the unique and unprecedented impact covid and the Global pandemic has had on society.
"The necessary restrictions upon our personal freedoms during lockdown, with businesses being closed and the curtailing of our personal and social lives has inevitably resulted in less recorded crime. Whilst this apparent downturn in criminality is welcome, it is not lost on me that crime levels will most likely soon rise.
"As the incoming PCC I will work tirelessly with the public to ensure our Police Force is more visible and more engaged with our communities than ever before. I want our Force to build upon the fantastic work our officers and staff already do.
"I will be holding the Chief Constable to account so that his actions drive down crime and antisocial behaviour, whilst increasing police visibility to increase trust and confidence in our Force for everyone who lives, works and socialises in our area."
Nationally, Leicestershire Police is ranked 18 out of 43 forces for all crime, with 88,573 crimes being recorded between January 2020 and December 2020 based on rate of offences per 1,000 population.
In the majority of forces, there has been a decrease in the number of all recorded crimes between January and December 2020 compared with the previous 12 months.
Decreases have also been recorded in theft, -29.4 per cent, residential burglary, -30.9 per cent, robbery, -20.2 per cent, and possession of weapons, -11.1 per cent, during this period.
However, violence against the person has increased by 10.2 per cent when compared to the previous 12 months, equating to an additional 3,068 offences.
A number of factors could have caused increases in the past 12 months:
- There has been a change in the recording of violence against the person offences. All common assaults are now reviewed and often re-classified as actual bodily harm, which sits within violence with injury.
- Data integrity training has been undertaken by 2,100 officers to improve awareness of crime classification.
- Dedicated Decision Makers (DDMs) have been funded by the force since 2019, with a large increase in staff in March 2020 who review all incidents to ensure all correct crime classifications are applied to incidents as necessary, and amend any classifications as necessary.
Assistant Chief Constable Julia Debenham said: “We all know that life has been very different over the last year and there is no doubt that the pandemic has influenced significant changes in criminal behaviour.
"Steadfastly throughout, the police have carried out our duty to protect people and tackle criminality.
"As we open up the night time economy and have more contact with each other, I want to reassure you that our policing plans are in place to continue to help keep people safe.”
“Although some crimes have decreased we have seen an increase in violence against the person across the last 12 months. Much of this increase is associated with better recording.
"We continue working with partners to ensure that we are putting resources in the right places at the right time, that we work together to support victims and prevent violent crime.”
Violence with injury is shown in the statistics as increasing by 38 percent. However, this is due to improved recording practices and is not reflective on an increase in actual crime.
In the past month Leicestershire Police have seen a number of successful arrests, charges and convictions in court following dedicated investigations carried out by officers and staff.