Staying at home saves lives - and cuts crime
Residents across the West Midlands are saving lives by staying at home during the coronavirus pandemic - and new figures show they’re also helping cut crime.
There was a 41 per cent fall in serious violence and 34 per cent drop in burglaries last week compared to the same seven-day period in 2019 – and with fewer crimes that means we can dedicate more officers to keeping people safe during these difficult times.
We’ve also seen knife crime reduce by 39 per cent during March compared to the same month last year.
Despite the unprecedented times we remain on the streets 24 hours a day to support all our communities. And we’ve redeployed specialist teams to provide reassurance and visual presence at key locations such as hospitals and supermarkets.
We’re encouraging our officers to safely engage with people to reinforce the Government instructions to say at home to stifle the spread of the disease.
Assistant Chief Constable Jayne Meir, said: "We’re 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’ve also seen a significant reduction in traditional crimes such as burglaries.
"It means with fewer crimes we’re 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.
“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 Covid-19 restrictions people are only allowed to leave home for the following very limited purposes:
• Shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible;
• One form of exercise a day - for example, a run, walk or cycle - alone or with members of their household;
• Any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
• Travelling to and from work, but only where they cannot work from home.
Our officers are on patrol educating anyone who is unclear what’s being asked of them and encouraging compliance with the government’s instruction.
But we do now have powers to disperse groups, instruct people to go home, and issue fines to those who ignore advice and cause concern among our communities.
Please exercise common sense. We won’t be able to dispatch officers for minor infringements of the rules. Clearly mass gatherings of people is not a minor infringement and we would want to know about that so we can take appropriate action.
You can alert us to any serious compliance breaches by messaging us on Live Chat via our website.