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Sustained falls in recorded crime reported throughout lockdown

21 May 2020

Provisional data from police forces in England and Wales shows a continued reduction in recorded crime of 25 per cent throughout the lockdown period.

Provisional figures released today show that police recorded crime from all 43 territorial police forces in England and Wales has fallen overall by 25 per cent – excluding fraud which is recorded by centrally by Action Fraud – in the four weeks to May 10, compared to the same period in 2019.

Falls were recorded for residential burglary, vehicle crime (including theft of and from a vehicle), assaults (including both Grievous Bodily Harm and Actual Bodily Harm) and robbery committed against individuals, rape and shoplifting. Forces have also observed decreases in call volumes to 999 and 101, and have also seen falls in the number of cases brought to police relating to mental health and missing persons.

There has been a four per cent rise in domestic abuse incidents. Police data measures concerns that have been brought to the attention of the police. Not all incidents will result in a crime being identified and recorded, nor will hidden abuse be captured in these data.

Assaults on emergency service workers saw a 14 per cent rise. This is a snapshot of an offence type which is typically recorded in low volumes - data may therefore fluctuate between snapshots. The 14 per cent rise is largely due to increases in assaults without injury, which may be driven by scenarios such as common assault on staff.

Forces are buoyed by a low absence figure of 7.3 per cent across the UK.

Commenting on the figures, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Crime Operations, Chief Constable Andy Cooke said:

“These figures are not a surprise, as the public have largely stayed home during the lockdown period. Forces use any spare capacity they have during lockdown to focus on proactively pursuing criminals, completing complex investigations and reducing violence.

“As measures ease, we will bear down crime and do all we can to try and prevent it rising to pre-lockdown highs. We are confident in our resilience, and we will work closely with partners across law enforcement and the criminal justice system to meet challenges that arise as we move through the stages of the national response to Covid19.”

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said:

“Policing remains in a strong position and we are not wasting any of the extra capacity this crisis has brought.
“Forces have been able to do more proactive policing and reduce backlogs in complex investigations, which will lead to justice being done for many victims, removing criminals from communities and getting ahead of crime before it happens.”

All figures in this release are intended as a guide only and trends may change as more data becomes available.  

Crime type breakdowns, and their accompanying data notes, are provided in the data pack linked here.