Express & Star

Violent crime in West Midlands down 41 per cent during coronavirus lockdown

Serious violence in the West Midlands has fallen by more than 40 per cent in the last week compared to the same week in 2019, figures show.

Last updated
West Midlands Police say there has been a drop in violent crime and burglaries during the last week of lockdown, compared to the same week in March 2019

The drop in crime has been attributed to the majority of the population adhering to the new lockdown restrictions.

West Midlands Police figures show there was a 41 per cent fall in serious violence, as well as a 34 per cent drop in burglaries last week, compared to the same seven-day period in 2019.

Knife crime has also fallen by 39 per cent during March compared to the same month last year.

More coverage:

Bosses at the force say that with fewer crimes they can dedicate more police officers to keeping people safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Police remain on the streets 24 hours a day to support communities and they are redeploying specialist teams to provide a visual presence and reassure people at key locations including hospitals and supermarkets.

Meanwhile over at Staffordshire Police, the force is appealing for retired officers to return to work ahead of an expected surge in demand to support communities during the peak of the virus.

West Midlands Police Assistant Chief Constable Jayne Meir said: "We are grateful to the vast, vast majority of our communities for following the advice and staying at home to stop the spread of the disease and save lives.

"With more people at home we have also seen a significant reduction in traditional crimes such as burglaries.

"It means with fewer crimes we are able to use more resources on the streets, engaging with the public and encouraging everyone to maintain the Government’s measures.

"There’s also been a lot work over the last 12 months to tackle crimes which impact on people across the West Midlands. The latest annual figures show we’ve had a 15 per cent drop in house burglaries, 13 per cent for vehicle offences and six per cent fewer robberies."

She added: “However, people need to be mindful there are some callous individuals who may look to use the pandemic to commit crime, sending out malicious emails in a bid to get banking details or hack computers or by posing as bogus police or health officials to access homes.

"So please still be vigilant.”

During the coronavirus lockdown, police now have powers to disperse groups, instruct people to go home and issue fines to those who ignore advice and cause concern among communities.