Police recorded crime is 20 per cent lower than in the same period as 2020, provisional data from forces in England and Wales shows.

Crime figures provided to the National Police Chiefs’ Council from forces in England and Wales show an overall fall of 20 per cent in the four weeks to 17 January 2021, compared to the same period in 2020.

Throughout the pandemic, sustained falls in crime have been recorded throughout periods of national lockdown, with crime only rising close to 2019 levels during the summer months of 2020

The third national lockdown introduced on 6 January 2021 saw a large reduction in recorded crime as individuals were told to stay at home, allowing criminals less opportunities to commit offences.

For the most recent recorded snapshot, for the four weeks to 17 January 2021, serious violent crime, including Grievous Bodily Harm, Actual Bodily Harm and personal robbery reduced by 31 per cent, shoplifting was down 41 per cent, vehicle crime fell by 36 per cent and residential burglary was down by 33 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

Reported rape saw a 14 per cent fall and recorded domestic abuse incidents decreased by four per cent over the snapshot period compared to the same period in 2020. There remains little evidence of the significant increase in reported domestic abuse that was anticipated at the start of lockdown, although police continue to monitor this area closely and work closely in partnership with relevant organisations.

National Police Chiefs’ Council Chair, Martin Hewitt said:

“We have seen falls in crime during periods of national lockdown and we are seeing the same trends again.

 “Although overall crime is lower than this time last year, demand on the police remains significant. As well as day-to-day policing, to prevent and tackle crime and keep communities safe, we continue to work alongside our partners both locally and nationally in tackling this pandemic and limiting the spread of the virus. Officers and staff are incredibly busy, working in challenging circumstances, and I am grateful for their continued hard work.

“We encourage the public to follow the rules in place to limit the spread of the virus.”

Forces have also continued to observe decreases compared to 2020 for 101 call volumes (-12 per cent) and 999 volumes (-17 per cent).

The national absence rate for officers and staff remains low at 5.6 per cent.