Crime Rates Change with COVID-19

By Tynasia Southerland

Baltimore, a city that is known for its high crime rates, has finally met its match. COVID-19 seems to be the only thing capable of lowering crime in Baltimore. 

The coronavirus is a pandemic outbreak that is contagious, outrageous, and the cause of quarantine. This virus has resulted in 138 deaths in Maryland, as of April 10.

The crime rates in Baltimore have been the highest ever for the last ten years, continuing to grow in 2020. 

Although some years have lower rates up to the month of April, such as 2015 and 2016, police agencies have seen a “decrease in criminal incidents,” since the middle of March, according to an article in USA Today. This could lead to a situation in which the pandemic might “suppress the city’s… violence.” 

NDMU Criminology Professor Dr. Amy Grau examined the occurrences of crime during the current virus outbreak.  According to Grau, certain crimes will decrease but others will increase.

Based on the data, Grau suggests that crimes such as burglary will decrease because people will be at home more often, compared to domestic or intimate partner violence, which will increase because people have to stay inside. 

While COVID-19 is keeping people inside, somewhat causing a decrease in crime outside of the home, it is still putting people at risk by forcing them to stay inside with violent abusers.

Officers are required to play a recorded public announcement when confronting a group of 10 or more, that enforces the public to know that “We are all in this together”.  Asking people to stay inside at all times is mandatory unless there are serious or essential reasons. This will not eliminate crime and danger, but it will decrease the risk of being contaminated.

Crime vs Corona
Above, the homicide rates from 2015 – April 1st of 2020 are
shown. Targeted crimes are expected to change during COVID-19.

Photo Courtesy of The Baltimore Sun

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