Inspector Richard Berns says crime is down thanks to coronavirus measures
Police in Camden are solving 50 per cent more crimes than usual, thanks to coronavirus lockdown measures.
Meanwhile, early estimates show crime in the borough may have fallen by almost half.
Inspector Richard Berns, of the Camden Neighbourhood Policing Teams, said the “huge reduction” in reported offences was leaving officers with more time to solve crimes.
He told the Ham&High: “Most things are down, including domestics, which was a bit of a surprise. But solved crime is up.
“We have the same amount of resources to deal with fewer crimes, and the outcome is a better service for the public and more offenders being brought to justice. This should mean that when the lockdown ends, we will be in a very good position to deal with any increases in criminality.”
In an interview with the Ham&High, Inspector Berns added: “Criminals stand out a lot more during lockdown. They might be at home more, so it’s easier for us to arrest them. We can get to incidents quicker because there’s less traffic.
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“So there are lots of reasons why we are more efficient, some of which will go away when lockdown is over.”
Figures released by the Home Office showed that in March 2020 – the month lockdown was introduced – crime in Camden fell by more than 17 per cent, compared to March 2019.
In February, before lockdown, crime had been up more than 9pc on the previous year.
According to Inspector Berns, preliminary figures for the beginning of April show a drop in crime across Camden and Islington of more like 45pc, compared to the same period in 2019.
“We can’t take credit for the huge falls in crime,” said Inspector Berns. “That is almost certainly due to lockdown. That said, it has given us an opportunity to deal more effectively with the crime that is still going on – and criminals, unsurprisingly, are not good at obeying rules.”
In March, crime fell across Camden in 13 out of 14 categories.
Shoplifting was down 40pc, criminal damage and arson were down by 29pc, and theft from person was down by a quarter.
Vehicle crime dropped by almost 24pc and burglaries reduced by almost 17pc.
The only type of crime to rise in March was anti-social behaviour, which was up by just over 6pc. Inspector Berns said this was likely due to residents calling in to report each other over alleged lockdown breaches.
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