Crime slowly returning to 2019 levels, provisional data finds
Police recorded crime in Wales and England is reportedly seven per cent lower than the same period in 2019 following the easing of lockdown.
The provisional data, released today, covers the four weeks leading up to 2 August and was retrieved from 43 forces across Wales and England.
Around the time lockdown began, in mid to late March, there was a 28 per cent reduction in crime between 12 March and 12 April.
Then, between 10 April and 10 May there was a 25 per cent reduction, followed by an 18 per cent reduction between 7 May and 7 June and then a 12 per cent reduction between 5 June and 5 July.
It indicates crime trends are returning towards pre-lockdown levels.
Reductions in residential burglary, vehicle crime, assaults, robbery and shoplifting were recorded, whilst there were decreases in 999 calls by 10 per cent and 101 calls by 12 per cent.
Assaults on emergency service workers saw a 31 per cent rise compared to the same period last year.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said: “One consequence of the restrictions was the reduction in crime.
“Sadly, we are now seeing crime getting closer to the levels we saw in 2019. Police forces are busy tackling and preventing crime and providing a policing service to their communities, while continuing to play their part in the national effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.
“I am disgusted to see an increase in assaults on emergency service workers who are the frontline in protecting us all including from this deadly virus. We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those who are on the front line.”
So far, between 27 March and 17 August, 2,662 Health Protection Regulation notices have been issued in Wales regarding COVID-19 restrictions.
In the last four week period, 13 fines were issued by forces in England whilst no fines were issued in Wales under these regulations.
A total of 46 FPNs were issued between 15 June and 17 August for breaches of the Face Coverings Regulations, 38 of these fines being issued against the regulations concerning wearing a face covering on public transport.
The other eight fines were issued against the regulations concerning wearing a face covering in a relevant place, such as in a shop.
National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said: “Coronavirus is still a real and deadly threat. The restrictions across the UK are in place to limit the spread of the virus and save lives.
“Large gatherings both indoors and outdoors are still unlawful. And it is mandatory to wear face coverings on public transport, in shops and in some other enclosed spaces. Other local restrictions apply in some parts of the country.
“We all have a role to play limiting the spread of this deadly virus so familiarise yourself with public health measures in place locally.
“Officers will continue to be out in communities – engaging, educating and encouraging people to be act responsibly to stop the spread of this virus – and patrols are being stepped up in problem spots. We will enforce where necessary.
“Those who flout the regulations risk a fine of £100 – halving to £50 if paid within 14 days. Those organising or facilitating unlawful gatherings face fines of £10,000.
“As restrictions ease across the country, people will want to go out and enjoy themselves, but this needs to be done in a socially responsible manner, within the law, and with due regard for everyone’s safety.”
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