Big Fall in Crime Locally During Coronavirus Lockdown

Thefts, robberies and sexual offences all down in H&F

Crime has fallen in Hammersmith and Fulham as a result of the coronavirus lockdown, according to new figures from the Met Police

Reported cases of thefts, burglaries, robberies, violent attacks and sexual offences all fell significantly in March compared with February, the Met’s data shows.

It follows a London-wide trend that began on March 20, when the Government ordered non-essential businesses to close and for people to only leave their homes for essential travel and exercise.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson had also advised that businesses should close from March 16.

Across Hammersmith and Fulham there were 329 reported burglaries of commercial and residential properties during March – a 13 per cent fall compared with February.

There were 933 reported thefts, 17 per cent fewer than in February.

Robberies fell by 27 per cent, with 126 reported cases in March.

Reports of “violence against a person” fell by 4.2 per cent in March to 840 cases compared with February. About one-third of these incidents resulted in a person being injured.

There were no suspicious deaths reported in the borough during March or February.

Sexual offences fell by 16 per cent. There were 70 reported sexual offences in Hammersmith and Fulham during March, including 21 alleged rape cases.

However, drug offences increased by four per cent in March compared with February, with a total of 1,943 cases of alleged possession cases, and 131 trafficking cases.

Data on incidents in Hammersmith and Fulham that have taken place in April has not yet been published.

But last week the Met announced that crime rates for March 12 to April 14 were 32 per cent lower across Greater London than during the same period in 2019.

The Met also revealed that “several hundred” fixed penalty notices have been handed to Londoners for alleged breaches of the new coronavirus rules, although a precise number was not available.

Assistant commissioner Mark Simmons, who is leading the Met’s response to the pandemic, said: “The vast majority of people are following Government regulations.

“However there is a small minority of people who despite every effort to engage, explain and encourage are refusing to follow instructions.

“In these rare cases officers have used their new powers in order to protect the NHS and keep people safe.”

He added: “Officers continue to bear down on violence and are highly visible on the streets and open spaces as well as responding to urgent calls for assistance.”

Across England and Wales there has been a 59 per cent rise in antisocial behaviour cases including alleged breaches of the new lockdown rules, according to the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). By last week, some 3,203 fines had been issued for these breaches.

The NPCC also said there has been a three per cent rise in reports of domestic abuse, although the figure is expected to rise as the lockdown continues.

Owen Sheppard, Local Democracy Reporter

October 18, 2019