The pandemic changed almost every part of life. This article shows how COVID-19 has affected burglary and crime rates and what you can do to protect you, your family, and your property.
Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world completely, not only taking more than a million lives, but also pushing many millions of other people into extreme poverty.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic effects on nearly all aspects of life, including loss of lives, mandatory lockdowns, economic turmoil, unemployment, and more. THe closure of businesses and the unemployment that people have faced may affect crime, especially profit-oriented crime when economic safety nets aren’t sufficient to ensure people’s livelihoods.
Put simply, desperate people typically means more crime, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made plenty of people desperate and unsure of how to support themselves during the pandemic.
Strained economic and social conditions have had an impact on both crime and the efforts to prevent, investigate, and control it. Lockdowns created and allowed new crime and illicit markets to grow and thrive, while others were disrupted. This has presented changing statistics and unique challenges in both crime prevention and in criminal justice.
It’s important to note that it’s still early and very difficult to determine the real effects that COVID-19 has had on crime. Crime rates have fluctuated a great deal since the beginning of the global pandemic. Furthermore, the research results are mixed. This is because it is especially difficult when comparing varied and broad categories of crime across different cities in the United States. Add in different research methods and periods of study, and understanding crime during this time is even more difficult. This article will analyze both property crime and violent crimes during the pandemic, as well as provide tips on how to keep you, your family, and your property safe during these unprecedented times.
Property Crime Trends During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Property crime trends were one of the major changes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Nationwide, there was an 8% decrease between January and June of 2020, compared to the same timeframe just one year earlier.
- Despite the decrease in property crime, cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and other cities actually saw dramatic increases in property crimes.
- Car thefts and break-ins have been on the rise. There was a 6% increase in vehicle thefts between January and June 2020, with cities like New York, Denver, Scarsdale, and Los Angeles seeing record increases of stolen property and vehicles.
- Surprisingly, the FBI found a 19% increase in arson offenses nationwide!
Violent Crime Trends During the Pandemic
Violent crime during the pandemic actually increased. There are a variety of factors as to why that occured, including economic turmoil and stress, as well as being in close quarters with others during mandatory lock-downs.
- FBI data shows that the first 6 months of the pandemic saw murder and non negligent homicide up more than 15% compared to the same time period last year, showing a sharp intake in violent crime.
- In large cities, there was a 53% jump in homicides compared to last year!
- Aggravated assault increased over 14%
- Gun violence was relentless in 2020, particularly in major cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City.
Despite these harrowing statistics, some violent crimes decreased during the pandemic.
- Rape and sexual assault counts have dropped almost 18%
- Robberies also declined 7%
What Causes Crime During a Global Pandemic
It is difficult to analyze exactly what causes crime during a global pandemic, espeiclaly since there is little research on the subject. However, the short term effects of COVID-19 can be understood and agreed upon by researchers.
There are several reasons why crime can change during a pandemic and what causes it.
- Society became more disorganized
- Social relationships and influences were suddenly cut or altered, causing a great deal of stress
- Estrangement from friends and family who may have a positive influence
- Physical and financial fear
- Increased levels of stress and strain as individuals became more fearful about their futures
- Punitive responses to crime ceased as police contact winded down.
- Courts closed for long periods of time, making it difficult to deter crime
- A great deal of prisoners were released early
Economic and social stress as a result of the pandemic can come together as the perfect storm, causing a heavy increase in violent crime. Another major reason for the uptick in crime is less police oversight. Lots of officers were out on quarantine resulting in lower staffing levels. The officers that remained on the job had social distance requirements between both themselves and people on the street. This reduces face-to-face interaction that reduces crime.
These statistics are part of a bigger trend. Crime can be affected by lockdown restrictions- in the short term. Restrictive measures reduce opportunities for crime and limit the possibilities of criminals breaking into private homes. However, this is not a long-term solution. Regardless of crime statistics, the pandemic is (as we all hope) a temporary situation, while home security is a permanent situation that requires a permanent and well thought out solution.
Tips on Staying Safe
There is good news. While violent crimes may be up and crimes typically increase in the warmer months, there are ways to protect yourself. Just knowing the statistics on crime during the pandemic- and at any time, really- helps keep you and your family safe. Knowing criminal trends means you can better prepare yourself by taking preventive measures to ensure you aren't a victim of a crime.
Consider getting a driveway gate and gate operator.
Violent crime has been an upward trend during the pandemic. Most people think of driveway gates as a deterrent to property theft and crimes. However, driveway gates are incredibly effective for preventing many different types of crimes.
Driveway gates are incredibly effective at deterring criminals from coming onto your property. They are a safeguard against virtually all types of criminals, as they eliminate the “opportunity” that most burglars look for. A shockingly small number of thieves and criminals actually plan their break-ins (less than 12%, actually!). Most of them look for easy targets, and a perimeter fence and gate operator do not scream easy targets.
There are several types of gate operators, including electric slide gate openers and electric swing gate openers. No matter what your security needs are, there is probably a gate operator that will work for your home or business.
Gate operators help increase residential or commercial security in several different ways.
- Criminals are opportunistic- gate operators let people know you’re serious about your security
- Gates are a physical barrier, making it harder to get onto your property and harder to get out of your property. Criminals want an easy escape route, so they won’t like breaking into a house with a gate!
- Gates make it very obvious that someone is trying to get onto your property. No criminal wants to risk climbing over a security fence and risk being seen!
- Gates are also a psychological barrier. Getting in, out, and worrying about additional security that a gate operator owner likely has is a major buzzkill for criminals.
Obviously, there are a ton of advantages to having electric gate openers. They’re not only great for preventing unwanted intruders, they also afford you and your family more privacy. Furthermore, with audio and visual communication, the gate operator can be controlled from inside their home, or car.
Another Great Deterrent? A Security System.
Although a security fence and electric gate opener is a fantastic way to protect your home or business, you should add another layer of security and protection. Getting a security system is a great way to deter criminals from breaking into your home.
The best part?
There are home security options for basically every budget and level of protection, making it eas8ier than ever to keep your home and property safe and secure. There are even DIY and customizable options with professional monitoring to save you money!
Security systems are really a barrier for break-ins and other crimes. Up to 83% of all burglars check for an alarm system before breaking in, making it very effective for protecting you and your family.
Combined with a security fence and gate operator, security systems really reduce the odds of being the victim of a property crime.
COVID-19 has affected virtually every aspect of life for people around the globe. From lives lost, to shut-downs, crime, and stay at home orders, life has been turned upside down. Vaccinations have caused COVID-19 to finally see a downtick in deaths around the world, and things are finally opening back up.
This means that although some crimes have seen a decrease, things are opening back up and things are finally returning to normal. Combined with the summer months when crime increases, this can mean a return to increased crime.
Keep you, your family, your property, or your business safe with security fences and gate operators. Having a secure fence can really decrease you and your family’s chances of being victims of property crimes, including break-ins, robbery, and burglary.
Choose a company that has decades of experience in keeping people and property safe. Eagle Operators designs and manufactures gate operators and a wide range of access control accessories for both residential and commercial properties.
Learn more about our collection of access control gate operators, electric slide gate operators, swing gate operators, remote transmitters, and more.