Latest crime statistics reveal huge drop in robberies

Mar 20, 2021

This week the Crime Statistics Agency released their 2020 crime figures which showed that whilst there was an overall increase in crime of 2.3%, property and deception offences dropped by 12%, and robberies by a whopping 28%.

On the surface this appears to be great news. However, the major contributing factor was last year’s lockdown measures which provided police with a unique opportunity to make inroads in several key crime areas. With everyone told to stay home, suddenly the authorities found it very easy to track criminals. The unexpected COVID-19 pandemic had not only disrupted the lives of ordinary people everywhere but had inadvertently managed to devastate the livelihoods of gang members and criminal organizations too.

This appears to have been a global trend with a United Nations release finding a direct correlation between the countries that had tight lockdown measures that were highly enforced (I think we can safely say Melbourne fell into this category) and the countries that reported a significant reduction in property crimes.

Those criminals that continued to commit crimes did manage to find some benefits though: wearing facemasks offered a convenient anonymity, presumably a luxury for anyone involved in robberies. Thieves also adapted to coveting and targeting a whole new range of lucrative items such as oxygen canisters, medical supplies, and possibly also bumper packs of quilted 3 ply toilet rolls, but that has been unverified.

These changes to the crime statistics shouldn’t come as a surprise though. During the height of the Spanish Flu pandemic in Chicago in 1918 when authorities encouraged the wearing of masks, mandated curfews and implemented a vigorous ‘anti-spitting’ crusade (yuck! 🤢), just like in many cities today, crime dropped considerably compared to the previous year.

So, can we relax and enjoy this presumably safer and more secure world. Almost definitely not… Property crime is likely to have already rebounded since the restrictive measures that were the immediate cause of the decrease in criminal activity have been lifted. In fact, criminological theory suggests that some forms of crime could even increase beyond their pre-pandemic level because of the additional economic strain caused by COVID-19 measures.

If you have concerns about the risk of burglary and theft to your commercial property or business, then now might be an opportune time to revaluate your current security measures. And if you need any assistance, reach out to us at Red Flag Systems on 1300 685 504.

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