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How crime levels have changed in the lockdown

PUBLISHED: 06:30 06 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:17 06 May 2020

Police on patrol in Eaton Park during the lockdown. Photo: Archant

Police on patrol in Eaton Park during the lockdown. Photo: Archant

Archant

Shoplifting, robberies and theft have all collapsed in Norfolk in the lockdown, but other types of crime have kept police busy, latest figures reveal.

Despite the lockdown only coming into force in the last week of March, some crimes fell by a half compared to March 2019.

The biggest falls were in weapon offences, down by 50pc from 70 to 34, and thefts from people, which decreased from 57 reports to 30.

There were also large falls in shoplifting (20pc), robbery (25pc) and bicycle theft (20pc), according to the figures from police.uk which publishes Home Office data.

Before the lockdown, pubs and restaurants had already shut and people were already working from home, causing a fall in burglaries.

Norfolk Police have issued 243 fixed penalty notices so far to those flouting lockdown rules. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYNorfolk Police have issued 243 fixed penalty notices so far to those flouting lockdown rules. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Denmark Stores on Sprowston Road, Norwich, which was identified last year as being in a shoplifting hot-spot, said they had no incidents recently, but the figures still show there were 11 shoplifting reports in the area.

Overall, recorded crime was down by 5pc on the same month last year, at 6,300 reports.

Drug offences were the only crime showing an increase, up 8pc to 247.

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Broadland, meanwhile, was one of the only places in the country reporting a rise in crime in March.

This was driven by a leap in burglaries which were up by 54pc compared to the previous March.

However crime rates are still low, with 37 burglaries reported for the whole month in Broadland.

Reports of violent and sexual offences only fell by 3pc and police still had more than 6,000 reports in the month.

They also took thousands of calls from the public reporting alleged breaches of the lockdown.

Almost 4,700 people contacted Norfolk police which led to 240 people being handed on-the-spot fines for flouting restrictions.

Police said last month that they were only using the fines as a “last resort”, preferring instead to “explain and engage” with people.

The quiet roads have also led to some drivers speeding at more than 130mph.

In April a police driver said they had to get up to 132mph to catch one motorist on the A47 near Acle.

And in one of the more bizarre calls police said they had offered “words of advice” to a teenager who was spotted in Hellesdon dressed in a Black Death outfit.

Police declined to comment on the crime figures, saying they would do so next week.


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