Are Crime Rates Up Or Down With Safer At Home?
April 23, 2020
It’s been a strange time for local law enforcement with ”safer at home” and business closings. Are crime rates up or down?
While experts are warning of increased domestic violence cases with families locked up together for extended periods of time, not all agencies are seeing that.
In Shawnee, Cpl. Vivian Lozano-Stafford compiled statistics to compare March 16-April 15, 2019, with the same period this year — the first month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Surprisingly, the 2019 stats show 243 domestic disturbance calls, compared with only 89 this year. However, she did note that had been a change in coding that could have affected the totals.
But 911 calls went from 2,378 in 2019 to 1,913 this year, and stolen vehicle reports from 31 last year to 24 this year. Total calls for service went down from 7,583 to 2,312.
They have handled “only a few calls” about people or businesses not complying with pandemic restrictions. “They are handled case by case,” she said, “talking to them first and explaining the situation to them.”
“Right now we are holding pretty good,” reported Tecumseh Police Chief J.R. Kidney. “We are seeing an increase in vandalism but not a huge increase. We figured it is the kids out of school.
“The domestics have not increased significantly at this point but we think it is a matter of time with the quarantine — the calm before the storm. I have seen a lot of cars posted as stolen. We have had 14 stolen since Jan. 1. We had 40 total last year.“
A statistical report prepared by Lt. Scott Hawkins for Sheriff Mike Booth showed larceny to be the biggest problem, but at a much lower rate. Last year’s stats showed 88 cases in the one month period, with 51 this year. However, domestic violence reports were up in the county: 48 cases this year compared with 35 last year.
But assaults dropped from 42 in 2019 to 14 this year and burglaries dropped from 65 to 48. Vehicle thefts were about the same, 18 in 2019 and 17 in 2020.