Police, sheriff’s department sees changes in crime statistics during COVID-19 shutdown

Arizona crime during COVID-19 lockdown

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As COVID-19 hit, many things changed in our community, and as data continues to come out, the amount of crime happening is also changing.

The Tucson Police Department saw a decrease in homicides by 30 percent, sexual assaults are down 8 percent, robberies down 19 percent and auto thefts down by 25 percent, according to a report sent to Tucson City Council. That is all from January to now, compared to the same timeframe in 2019.

The decrease could be attributed to the stay at home orders, according to the department, but it is impossible to know for sure.

“The trend has been relatively flat,” said Deputy James Allerton with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

PCSD has seen both increases and decreases from January to March of this 2020, compared to the same timeframe in 2019. According to logs, robberies and aggravated assaults have increased by a little more than 20 percent each. Burglaries and sexual assaults have both decreased. Overall, the department has seen close to 750 fewer calls for service this year.

“It’s really become more difficult for people to have the freedom to reach out for help,” said Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, CEO Emerge, Center Against Domestic Abuse.

Before the pandemic, Emerge said they would get about 21 calls a day. Now, they are getting about 18. Mercurio-Sakwa said it could be harder for people to get away from their abuser to make a phone call for help.

“The types of coercive and controlling behaviors are changing,” Mercurio-Sakwa said.

He said the center is still open and able to help those who need it.

If you or a loved one is in need of help due to a domestic violence situation, call 911 or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.

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