Crime rates down dramatically during pandemic but domestic violence a concern: police

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“Restrictions on gatherings, closures of public spaces and the large portion of the population being home‐bound have increased guardianship in residential areas and reduced the opportunity for certain crimes, such as robberies, break and enters and thefts of and from vehicles.”

Vehicle thefts or attempted offences were trending up in 2019 but took an abrupt and dramatic drop in the second quarter of this year, falling by 30 per cent.

But the number of domestic calls increased by 21 per cent during that time, a trend police ascribe to the widespread lockdown that kept people in closer quarters.

“Calls made to police for assistance or police presence for escalated domestic disputes that have not reached a criminal threshold increased sharply during the first three months of the state of emergency,” stated the CPS.

“There were higher numbers of victims of more serious assaults and sexual violence. Domestic assaults involving a weapon or causing bodily harm increased.”

Such calls, said police, have begun trending down since COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed.

In the initial throes of the pandemic shutdown, new activity at the Calgary Emergency Womens’ Shelter came to a virtual standstill, said agency CEO Kim Ruse.

“But we saw those numbers come back pretty fast,” she said.

“Some weeks (new admissions) were up 35 per cent, we saw a pretty steady increase . . . for a lot of people we haven’t seen, the stress has pushed them into these new categories.

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