Covid-19 and Local Crime Rates in England and Wales: Two Years into the Pandemic

Shubhangi Agrawal, Tom Kirchmaier, Carmen Villa-Llera

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

Abstract

We analyse how crime trends evolved during the Covid-19 pandemic leveraging public data on local crimes. Police have recorded fewer crimes overall during the pandemic, and the decrease is driven by a large decrease in acquisitive offences. Except for online fraud, crimes in which offenders obtain a material gain - such as burglary or theft - are now less common than pre-Covid. This trend is likely to remain, as more people work from home and shop online. Violent crimes, which have been on the rise since 2014, remain at very high levels and did not decrease because of the pandemic. Public order offences (incidents in which offenders cause public fear, alarm, or distress) have also accelerated since Covid began. We also show that the pandemic has not decreased crimes uniformly. Some areas (37 per cent) had more crimes in 2021 than during the same period in 2019. Unemployment and lower educational attainment appear to be key characteristics of areas that had higher crimes in 2021.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherCentre for Economic Performance (CEP), London School of Economics and Political Science
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes
SeriesCovid-19 Analysis Series
Volume27

Cite this