Update: Covid-19 FPN data, and chiefs urge public to keep reporting crime
Provisional data from police forces in England and Wales shows a reduction in crime during Coronavirus outbreak and that the vast majority of the public are following government regulations enacted in response to the crisis.
Police forces have seen crime reduce by 28 per cent in the four weeks to April 12 compared to the same period last year.
The provisional data also shows serious assaults and personal robbery have fallen by 27 per cent and rape 37 per cent. Falls have also been seen in residential burglary (down 37 per cent), vehicle crime (down 34 per cent) and shoplifting (down 54 per cent).
Calls to 999 are down by 14 per cent and we have seen a 13 per cent drop in 101 calls. Many more people are reporting online – a 61 per cent increase.
Fines for breaches of government public health regulations issued by police officers in England and Wales equate to less than 0.01 per cent of the eligible population in England and Wales – with 3,203 fines issued in England between March 27 and the April 13.
National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) Chair Martin Hewitt, said:
“The service across the UK currently has an overall absence rate of ten per cent, covering both officers and staff, and not simply relating to Covid-19. With reductions in crime, policing is in a strong, resilient position due to the brilliant commitment of officers and staff and the extra hours of our police volunteers.
“Our message to the public is keep reporting crime to us – we are still here for you and our teams are working round clock to keep you safe.
“To those in danger or at risk, my message is we will come when you call for help.”
On March 26, the Government announced new public health regulations to reduce the spread of coronavirus. These measures entitled officers to issue individuals with £60 fines if they failed to comply after officers had engaged with them, explained the risks to public health and encouraged voluntary compliance.
On the enforcement on new public health regulations, NPCC Chair Martin Hewitt said:
“The vast majority of people are staying at home in order to protect the NHS and help save lives. However, we have seen a small minority of people who, despite our best efforts, have refused to follow the instructions and officers have needed to use their enforcement powers.
“I want to thank everyone who is being responsible and following the regulations.
“Provisional data on the number of fines issued by police forces shows proportionate policing of these new regulations. Police have interacted with the public in their tens of thousands, with most engagements ending positively and with no need for a fine.
“Our approach of - engage, explain and encourage, and only as a last resort, enforce - is working and will continue.”
All figures in this release are intended as a guide only and trends may change as more data becomes available. The dataset covers the period to Monday 13 April - please note that forces will have issued and processed more since then. Processing times and submissions to ACRO differ across forces, and further updates will be provided in subsequent data releases. This data is provided in quick time to provide transparency to the public and individual forces will be able to offer context on their own data collection. Data should not be compared between forces, due to differences in processing and force context which can be explained by home forces.
Demographics of persons issued with notices:
82 per cent of fines are given to men, and 15 per cent to women, with 3 per cent unknown. A third of fines go to those aged 18-24, with a further third going to those aged 25-34.
60 per cent of fines have been issued to those self-identifying as white. With 23 per cent of fines issued to individuals who did not self-identify their ethnicity. Fines to those of Asian ethnicity stood at 10 per cent, Black at 4 per cent, and Mixed Race at 2 per cent. This is a proportionate distribution in relation to ethnicity data held by the ONS.