Recorded Crime Before and During Lockdown in the UK

One of the few positives to come out of the coronavirus pandemic appears to be a (temporary) reduction in crime. Figures from the UK’s Office for National Statistics show that, compared to 2019 in England and Wales, “there was a significant fall in crime at the height of the pandemic”. Billy Gazard from the ONS Centre for Crime and Justice explained: “This was driven by reductions in theft offences, particularly domestic burglary and theft of personal property.”

This reflects the increase in time that people spent at home during lockdown, creating “a reduction in opportunities for theft in public spaces and the closure of the night-time economy”. As this infographic with selected offence types shows, “the exception was police recording of drug offences, which increased through April and May. This reflects proactive police activity as overall crime levels reduced.”