Lockouts led to a 9% drop in knife crime in England and Wales compared to 2019 – as data shows Wiltshire was the safest place to live during a pandemic
- Data showed there were 5.6 million crimes in 2020, compared to 6.1 million in ’19
- During both national lockdowns, the number of knife crimes fell by nine percent
- Wiltshire the safest place to live as the police recorded the lowest number of crimes
The number of crimes committed in England and Wales fell last year as a result of the national lockdowns, down 9 percent.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed that the police recorded 5.6 million crimes, a decrease of 8% from the 6.1 million the previous year.
The ONS said the annual decline was mainly driven by “substantial declines” of 15% between April and June when the first lockdown restrictions were put in place.
While police-recorded crimes increased again between July and September as restrictions were gradually relaxed, they fell again in the last three months of the year when lockdown measures were reintroduced.
Knife crime fell 9 percent over the year as a result of national lockdowns following the pandemic, statistics showed.
The figures show that knife crime fell by 20% during the first lockdown – from 12,431 in January to March to 9,901 in April to June – and by 13% when lockdown measures were reintroduced at the end of the year, from 12,642 in July. to September to 11,041 in October to December.
Sophie Sanders, from the ONS Center for Crime and Justice, said: ‘There were fluctuations in the crime level in England and Wales throughout 2020.
While a small portion of these fluctuations will be due to seasonal effects on crime trends, the majority can be attributed to the introduction and subsequent relaxation of national lockdown restrictions throughout the year.
In most types of crime, recorded violations have declined year over year. The notable exceptions are drug offenses, due to proactive police activity on crime hotspots during the initial lockdown, while violence against the person also showed a small increase. ‘
While thefts, robberies, knife crimes, sex offenses and murders declined, there was an increase in domestic violence, drug offenses and violence against the person, the figures show.
The Office of National Statistics said the crime rate fell during the national lockdowns
Murders were down 12% compared to 2019, although the ONS said this was impacted by the discovery of 39 bodies in a truck in Grays, Essex, in October 2019. Excluding this incident, murders were down 6%.
The statistics also showed that Wiltshire was the safest place to live in England during the lockdown, as the police recorded the lowest crime volume per capita in the country and compared to troops of a similar size.
The crimes that occurred in the province included shoplifting, robbery, burglary, theft, and car violations.
Chief Constable Kier Pritchard said: ‘It is clear that the latest crime statistics must be seen in the context of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has had a tremendous impact on every aspect of the police force in Wiltshire and Swindon during this period.
And it is a tribute to the officers, staff and volunteers who work for the Wiltshire Police, who have adapted to this unprecedented challenge of performing their duties to such a high standard.
In Wiltshire, the crimes that have dropped shoplifting, theft, burglary, robbery and car offenses (stock image)
While there is always room for improvement, there is much positive to be said – especially our performance in crime reduction, compared to the national average and against other armed forces of similar size.
As always, statistics don’t always tell the whole story. It is important to emphasize that our activities against organized crime groups and gangs from the county lines remain a priority and are reflected in the numbers showing an increase in reports of drug possession.
“And our drive to vigorously identify and document cases of stalking and harassment, as well as awareness-raising campaigns around domestic violence, may have been a major factor in our increased number of reported cases.”