Big falls in recorded crime during lockdown

The latest crime statistics from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that crime was down overall in the quarter April-June 2020 as compared with the same period of last year.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings, commenting on the crime figures for South Yorkshire said:

“We have all had our lives disrupted this year. Spring 2020 was very different from Spring 2019 and could not have been predicted.

“In South Yorkshire we saw a 31% decrease in residential burglary and a 41% decrease in theft which reflects the fact that we were all at home – including criminals.

“On the other hand, drug related recorded crime went up in South Yorkshire by 23%. This statistic should not be viewed with concern as it reflects a great deal of activity on the part of  South Yorkshire Police bringing drug offenders to justice. There has been a considerable focus on drug offending and those who blight communities by bringing drugs onto the streets.

“As a result of these efforts criminals have been removed from the streets, their assets have been seized and we have been able to put some of that money directly back into the community via my grants scheme.

“I am also pleased to see a decrease in recorded knife crime in South Yorkshire, though after lockdown, these are offences that will need continuing attention by the force.

“An area of concern to me and the police is the decrease in reports of sexual assault. Whilst some of this will be down to being in lock-down, for some people their homes were the least safe places to be. We have, however, managed to support many who risked being trapped in abusive relationships during that time.

“These strange times that both we and the police find ourselves in look set to continue for the foreseeable future. We are now in Tier 3 and  officers have to police the new restrictions as well as carry out their normal duties. We can contain the virus and reduce the demand on the police if we all play our part in keeping to the rules.”