POLICE data for the Stratford district reveal one of many few positives of lockdown: a dramatic drop in crime.
Together with many of the nation, the district noticed a 3rd fewer crimes dedicated within the first lockdown round March and April 2020. This was largely pushed by a lower in thefts and burglaries.
After a short upsurge in the summertime, they once more began to fall when Covid restrictions had been reintroduced from November.
The general crime charge within the Stratford district has fluctuated considerably over the past 12 months, dropping all the way down to a document low in January this 12 months, when the variety of reported crimes had been averaged out at 32 per 1,000 folks.
It’s not all excellent news, nonetheless. Some crime varieties – particularly drug offences and violent and sexual offences, which embrace home abuse – have seen an increase.
Though not all the time classed as a criminal offense, delinquent behaviour has nearly doubled over the past 12 months. A few of this enhance could also be as a result of fines have been issued for Covid rule-breaking.
Talking concerning the distinctive difficulties of implementing the legislation over the past 12 months, Assistant Chief Constable Alex Franklin-Smith, of Warwickshire Police, informed the Herald: “Policing through the pandemic has introduced quite a few challenges, not least coping with new and rapidly-changing laws whereas additionally making the required preparations to guard our personal workforce.
“Whereas the overwhelming majority of individuals within the county adopted the restrictions in place to guard themselves and others, all through the pandemic we’ve got seen a minority prepared to ignore them and place their communities in danger.
“We’ve taken motion the place vital to answer that by means of engagement, rationalization, encouragement and enforcement. As restrictions ease, we’ll proceed to take this method to help the roadmap again to a extra regular lifestyle, guaranteeing that the restrictions nonetheless in place are policed successfully to guard in opposition to the dangers that stay.”
The power can be now taking a look at methods of tacking these crime areas which might be probably on the up.
Mr Franklin-Smith stated: “During times of lockdown, recorded crime fell throughout England and Wales, and that was seen right here in Warwickshire too. We’ve seen reductions in a number of key crime areas, together with residential housebreaking, automotive crime, critical violent crime and theft as criminals had much less alternatives to commit offences.
“Home abuse has been a key space of focus for us throughout lockdown, with folks spending extra time at dwelling. Whereas we’ve got not seen a major spike in these offences,we proceed to watch this intently and have labored with companion companies throughout the county to guarantee that details about help providers has been available. Throughout this time we’ve got additionally undertaken proactive exercise to deal with drug offences throughout the county.”
He added: “As we come out of lockdown, we’re already seeing demand returning to pre-Covid ranges. I can guarantee everybody that we’ve got strong plans in place to cope with the anticipated upturn in crime and that we are going to proceed to ship day-to-day policing as we work alongside our companions domestically and nationally to answer what we hope are the tip levels of the pandemic.”
A extra sinister space of crime that has flourished throughout lockdown, with many individuals spending extra time on-line, is cyber crime, which Mr Franklin-Smith stated the power was eager to clamp down on.
He stated: “We’ve seen a continuing reporting of cyber-crime to Motion Fraud, and each a kind of incidents has been investigated by Warwickshire Police and all these reporting incidents have obtained cyber safety recommendation. We proceed to work intently with the Nationwide Cyber Safety Centre and Warwickshire County Council in delivering a variety of ‘Defend’ initiatives, together with exercise centered on Black Friday, romance fraud and CyberAlarm, a free monitoring instrument.”
Canine theft is NOT on enhance
Regardless of widespread hypothesis that canine thefts are on the rise, crime statistics don’t again up the general public’s concern.
In reality, within the final 12 months there have been 15 canine thefts recorded by Warwickshire Police from March 2020 to February 2021, 4 lower than the 12 months beforehand when 19 canines had been reported stolen.
Inspector Allison Wiggin, power lead for Rural Crime, stated: “We fully perceive the devastating influence the theft of a cherished pet can have on each the proprietor and the animal.
“Fortunately, canine thefts are nonetheless low in our space however we’re working laborious to forestall offences and examine these which were reported.
“We take all studies of canine theft critically and can act on any info offered. If anybody does witness any suspicious exercise, please report it to us.”