Kingston crime figures return to pre-lockdown levels

The number of crimes reported in Kingston in August was similar to the monthly figures before the coronavirus lockdown, according to public police data.

Data from police.uk revealed that, following a dramatic fall in reported crimes in April and May to 248 and 276 respectively, a total of 388 crimes were reported in Kingston in August which is slightly higher than any month of the last twelve.

Chief Superintendent Elisabeth Chapple, Commander of the South West Basic Command Unit, said: “As we have slowly returned to normality (although this may change) we have seen crime levels return to a similar pattern to before the lockdown.”

The number of crimes reported per month in Kingston from September 2019 to August 2020 Source: police.uk

The initial drop in crime rate during the strictest part of the coronavirus lockdown is a trend that was seen across the country, with the Telephone-operated Crime Survey for England and Wales (TCSEW) estimating a 32 per cent reduction in total crime during April and May 2020, when compared with a two-month average in the period preceding lockdown (this does not include fraud and computer misuse).

Chapple said: “Over the last few months, as we have all been dealing with the consequences of Covid-19, we saw a reduction in crime across London including in Kingston.

“Shops were closed and fewer people were on the streets,” she added.

There have also been variations in the types of crimes being committed. The TCSEW survey found that whilst there was a significant drop in overall crime, drug offences rose by 22 per cent in April 2020 and 44 per cent in May 2020 when compared to the same months last year.

Chapple said the main issues in Kingston during the lockdown were the rise in domestic abuse and the continuing problem of county lines networks.

Now, as people are inevitably spending more time out of the house, the overall crime rate has crept back up again.

“Footfall on our streets has increased again and as people are facing difficulties in their lives with fewer jobs and leisure activities, they may be making the wrong choices,” Chapple said.

However, she reflected positively on the cooperation of Kingston residents during the last six months and asked that it continue.

She said: “I want to use this opportunity to thank our partners and members of the public for working alongside us this year and supporting our communities.

“We ask that everyone continues to follow Coronavirus guidance to keep everyone in Kingston safe.”

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