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999 calls drop during coronavirus lockdown

Emergency calls to police fell in the West Midlands in the first week of the coronavirus lockdown.

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999 calls are down in the West Midlands

Crime rates have dropped across the country with most people confined to their homes.

It has resulted in fewer burglaries, though there have been reports of a spike in commercial properties being targeted with many businesses closed.

In addition, officers have not had to deal with as much town and city centre trouble with pubs and bars closed, while less people being out and about should mean fewer crashes and other accidents.

There have been warnings, however, that crimes such as domestic violence could increase with couples being stuck under the same roof.

West Midlands Police said it received fewer 999 and 101 calls last week compared to the same period last year.

There have been reports of people calling police to report their neighbours and others for flouting the lockdown rules. West Midlands Police said it was not currently able to provide these figures.

Officers have been out on patrol across the region attempting to ensure as many people as possible are complying with the lockdown order.

They have been given the power to fine people from £30 upwards if they do not have an acceptable reason for being out.

Some forces have been criticised for a perceived over-zealous approach to enforcing the lockdown. Derbyshire Police attracted flak for sending a drone to film people walking in the Peak District.

Chief Constable Andy Cooke, lead for the National Police Chiefs Council on crime, said: "There is less violence from pub fights, less burglaries as everyone is at home.

“What you will see are increases in domestic violence, with people cooped up in the same home, and internet crime such as fraud and scams.”