Over the past year, state after state has issued stay-at-home orders. As Americans have chosen quiet evenings in and canceled vacations, statisticians have noticed an unintended side effect of this inactivity. The primary goal of lockdowns (enforced or informal) was to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
It seems that this national reduction in activity may have reduced levels of crime, as well. However, the media often seems divided on this point. Is there a crime wave currently hitting America - or is crime down overall?
Recently, there have been wide movements to defund the police. Cities and states have also been releasing prison inmates in large numbers to attempt to reduce cases of the virus. In the midst of these actions, should we expect a crime wave to flood America?
Crime Statistics: Then and Now
To find an answer to this puzzling question, a professor of business economics and public policy at the University of Pennsylvania amassed a huge amount of data concerning national crime rates. David Abrams wanted to learn from the COVID-19 crisis - and, it seems, he has. His online database brings together information from 25 American cities. Overall, he's found that crime is either reduced or constant.
Abrams has noticed some interesting patterns. For example, residential burglaries, violent crime, and theft have declined. Worryingly, murder has increased. Domestic and racial violence have also exhibited larger numbers in 2020. On the other hand, drug violations significantly dropped - with “over 70 percent decreases”, according to Penn Law, in most cities.
2020: Why are Crime Rates Down?
Multiple theories abound as to why there are fewer cases of some types of crime. Of Chicago drug dealers, one expert said that it's simple: “They aren't able to move, to sell anything anywhere.” The stay-at-home orders may also account for a concurrent rise in domestic violence because victims may have no way to escape.
However, it would seem that an analysis of most types of crime across most series yields one conclusion. Instead of experiencing record levels of crime in 2020, we're currently living through a period of low criminal activity.
This brings into question the fact that many people still believe we are experiencing an all-time high of crime. Perhaps the pandemic is making us paranoid; perhaps we are, on a national level, experiencing unprecedented amounts of anxiety. Unfortunately, this mindset can lead to undue accusations of criminal activity, if we are not careful. We, as a nation, tend to think we're in more danger of becoming victims of criminal activity than we are.
If you face unwarranted allegations of a crime you did not commit, call the Lento Law Firm right away at 888-535-3686. We can help guide you through your options and help you best know how to protect your rights.