What Is the Impact on Crime of The Covid-19 Pandemic and Related Restrictions?

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and related restrictions on homicide and property crime in a UNODC research brief

A research brief published by UNODC provides the first provisional results of a research that is inquiring the effects produced on crime by the Covid-19 pandemic (and by the related restrictions imposed by the Governments of many countries of the world), with particular reference to four types of crimes: homicides, thefts, robberies and burglaries.

Data - from 21 different countries - show that between March and April 2020 these crimes recorded a tendential decrease. In the short term, in fact, crime can be affected by restricted measures, which not only reduce opportunities to commit street crime but also limit the possibility of criminals breaking into private homes; the decrease in the homicide trend in some countries was higher than 25% (with the notable exception of Latin America), while the decrease in property crimes was in most cases over 50% (those changes, however, can also reflect a reduction in the reporting capacity and in the access to justice by citizens). Moreover, these trends disappeared with the relaxation of restrictions.

However, the report warns against the risk that, in the long term, the situation of economic crisis induced by the forced closure of businesses and the consequent unemployment and loss of income could reverse such trend, leading to an overall increase in crime, especially profit-oriented crime.

To consult the report, click here.