Less crime in COVID?

The restrictions imposed due to COVID-19 have led to limited mobility and the closure of public spaces. This seems to have provided less opportunity for offending behaviours. For example, with pubs closed the pub brawls have stopped.

Deputy Chief Commissioner Shane Patton said that Victoria Police have seen a significant reduction in crime due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In April, Victoria recorded its lowest daily offence average since June 2014.

If only this were the whole story. Monash University surveyed 166 family violence victim support practitioners about family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Almost 60 per cent said the frequency of violence against women had increased. Half said the severity of violence increased as well.

Practitioners are worried about what is going unreported. One said: “We are deeply concerned for the women who are unable to contact us at the moment … women have been struggling without face-to-face support at police stations and courts.”


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