Crime Rates During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by: Doug Ridley

How California’s Stay-at-Home Order and Economic Downturns Impact Criminal Activity

In the weeks following California's Stay-at-Home Order, which was put in place as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, several law enforcement agencies have reported a noticeable decrease in crime. As reported by NBC Bay Area, violent crime in San Jose was down by nearly half from what it was one year ago. Property crimes and burglaries had also dropped significantly since the order.

How Has the Coronavirus Affected Crime Rates in California?

Law enforcement agencies across the country are adopting new policies that help decrease their exposure to the coronavirus. In some cases, police departments are asking citizens to simply make a telephone report regarding a non-violent, low-level offense. The decline in crime may be a combination of people heeding the Governor’s stark warnings regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that officers are having to reconsider their response to certain calls. Fewer people on the streets also provide fewer opportunities for certain crimes. 

Will Crime Rates Continue to Stay Low After the Stay at Home Order Lifts?

The Congressional Research Service conducted an in-depth study regarding Economic Downturns and Crimes. Their research showed that while there is no single factor that drives the crime rate, things like unemployment may have an impact. High unemployment may make certain types of crime more probable such as property crime or even violent crime. Research shows that not all recessions will equate to an automatic rise in criminal activity, but certain factors can make it more likely that the crime rate will increase. For instance, unemployment may have a more significant impact on the crime rate in some parts of the country as opposed to others.

Law enforcement agencies also have concerns that desperate economic times may see an increase in violent crimes that may go unreported such as domestic violence and child abuse. Economic stress can cause a strain on family relationships resulting in an increased likelihood of these kinds of crimes. Fear and anxiety over financial security may also lead to an increase in substance abuse, which often plays a role in violent crimes.

Protecting Loved Ones During the Coronavirus Pandemic

At Ridley Defense, we understand that the most important thing is keeping your loved ones safe and healthy during these unprecedented times. We are a firm built on helping families heal after difficult times. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys are here to help you get through this and get the best possible outcome in your case. If you are charged with a crime, call Ridley Defense today for a complimentary consultation at 805.205.1866

We understand now more than ever that you need compassionate representation. We know that the person who calls our office is rarely a hardened criminal. We represent everyday people that may have had a bad day or may be struggling in these challenging times.

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