Police report drop in violent crime, burglaries amid coronavirus pandemic

Several police departments report violent crimes and burglaries are down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Empty shops with dark windows have become a common sight. Some window signs read, “There ‘is nothing value in here,” to ward off thefts. Many people are worried closing stores to customers opens the door to robbers.  But now, there may be a silver lining. Several police departments across our area report less crime or calls for help.  

Philadelphia police listed some statistics on Facebook: total violent crime is down, total property crime is down, and residential and commercial burglaries are also down from the end of February through mid-March. 

“Police officers have not lessened the patrols, we are out there to hold the line,” Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins said

He says their department has also seen a drop in violent crimes and robberies. Less people on the street makes it easier for officers to spot someone that may be up to no good. 

“The officers are able to check some of those vehicles out and I think there is some deterrence value in that," he explained.

Gloucester Township is seeing an increase in domestic disputes. 

“Parents are being tasked with things they don’t normally have to do, it adds to the stress level of people and the unknown,” said Chief Harkins. 

“I can believe that," said Greg Dawson. “People are stuck in their homes together. I mean people fight, but when they are stuck together, it could be mayhem.” 

For now, neighbors and officers sigh some relief, encouraged by the efforts to keep peace. 

“It is such a team effort and I could not be prouder to be part of it,” said Chief Harkins.


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