Covid crime levels: Huge rise in domestic abuse but large drop in burglaries recorded by Cambridgeshire police

Crime levels across Peterborough and Cambridgeshire remain at similar levels pre-Covid, but there has been a steep drop in burglaries and a large rise in domestic abuse.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 2:00 pm

A new report by the office of the county’s police and crime commissioner Darryl Preston has highlighted how crime has been affected by the pandemic.

It reveals that there were more 999 calls in May than over the same month in the previous four years and that “the summer 2021 peak may be back to normal magnitude”.

Moreover, the number of non-emergency 101 calls is also beginning to reach pre-Covid levels after both numbers were dialled far less during the pandemic, in particular over the lockdowns.

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Cambridgeshire Constabulary

In addition, while calls to Cambridgeshire police may have reduced, other than in April 2020, the number of police incidents remains stable, even if some offences have become more prevalent and others have seen a large dip.

The 12 months to March 2021 saw 40 per cent fewer dwelling burglary offences than 2019/20 and, while there are signs that overall theft numbers “may be beginning to increase,” this is “not yet for dwelling burglary”.

There has, though, been “recent substantial rises in stalking and harassment offences” with domestic abuse offences “continuing to reach a new high each month”.

The report states: “The constabulary and partners have maintained a prioritised focus on vulnerability, notably domestic abuse during the period of lockdown, as the impact on domestic abuse victims and families was a significant concern for policing and partners.

“Therefore, a lot of work was focused on placing, adapting and enhancing the constabulary’s response to domestic abuse with increased support services and virtual engagement sessions.”

To date, 895 Covid fines have been issued by Cambridgeshire police, which itself saw a peak of 140 offices and staff self-isolating between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

The report also hints at future operational changes, with analysis of agile working ongoing with the University of East Anglia.

It states: “A project is underway to look at how to make the best use of (our) estate both operationally and in terms of possible efficiencies being secured whilst focusing on staff effectiveness and well-being.”