Here are the crimes that decreased during the pandemic

Here are the crimes that decreased during the pandemic

An analysis published in Nature Human Behavior analyzes the trend of some crimes with restrictions on movement due to the pandemic. Here is what he observed

(Photo: Tobias Tullius on Unsplash) We could count it as one of the few positive aspects associated with the pandemic: with Covid-19 (some) crimes have also decreased. A result perhaps a little obvious on a superficial reading, in light of the restrictions put in place to combat the epidemic, but not obvious in reality and substantial, writes today the team of researchers from the University of Cambridge and the University of Utrecht who looked into the matter. Crimes, at least those reported by the authorities, have decreased by more than a third with restrictions on movement.

The analysis - presented in the pages of Nature Human Behavior - examined data from 27 cities of 23 countries, scattered across Europe, the Americas, Asia and the Middle East, subject to restrictions but in very different ways, the authors point out. In some cases, in fact, the stay-at-home invitation remained a recommendation, while in others violations were punished with sanctions. The researchers observed how six particular crimes varied after the implementation of these measures (assaults, general thefts, apartment thefts, robberies, vehicle theft and murder). If for some crimes it is legitimate to wait for a reduction (such as home thefts, more supervised in periods of restrictions), for others the trend could be the opposite, the authors note. With the population mostly subject to movement restrictions, there are fewer people in circles, and therefore perhaps also opportunities for confrontation in public, but cases of domestic violence or thefts in buildings and shops left empty can increase.

Given the necessary premises, what the researchers observed is a general reduction in crimes: minus 46% of robberies and 47% of general thefts, minus 28% of thefts in buildings, minus 39% for theft of vehicles, minus 14% for homicides. Total: less than 37% of crimes in the 27 cities analyzed (none of them Italian) with the restrictions imposed with the pandemic, with greater reductions in general the more stringent the anti-Covid measures were.

"We observed the greatest effects for those crimes that lead to the convergence of motivated criminals and ideal victims / targets in public spaces, probably because far fewer potential victims spend time in crime hotspots such as urban areas with concentration of commercial activities and entertainment ", the justification reads in the paper . In a similar way, the researchers explain the minor reductions observed for homicides, albeit recorded: in many cases these are crimes that take place at the domestic level or within contexts of organized crime, likely situations little affected by the restriction measures.

The overall values ​​reflect both trends that mask very different situations. For example, crime seems to drop fairly quickly and then rise again after a few weeks, and some cities and others have experienced significant changes. Significant reductions in assaults or robberies in Barcelona, ​​as well as assaults in Rio de Janeiro or Lima. Here, in South America, even the reductions in homicides, more modest overall, were more pronounced, the University of Cambridge explained. It is not excluded, however, the authors conclude, that these crimes reductions have been accompanied by an increase in other areas, such as fraud or cybercrime.

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