Crime and coronavirus: Social distancing, lockdown, and the mobility elasticity of crime

55Citations
Citations of this article
181Readers
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.

This article is free to access.

Abstract

Governments around the world restricted movement of people, using social distancing and lockdowns, to help stem the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We examine crime effects for one UK police force area in comparison to 5-year averages. There is variation in the onset of change by crime type, some declining from the WHO 'global pandemic' announcement of 11 March, others later. By 1 week after the 23 March lockdown, all recorded crime had declined 41%, with variation: shoplifting (- 62%), theft (- 52%), domestic abuse (- 45%), theft from vehicle (- 43%), assault (- 36%), burglary dwelling (- 25%) and burglary non-dwelling (- 25%). We use Google Covid-19 Community Mobility Reports to calculate the mobility elasticity of crime for four crime types, finding shoplifting and other theft inelastic but responsive to reduced retail sector mobility (MEC = 0.84, 0.71 respectively), burglary dwelling elastic to increases in residential area mobility (- 1), with assault inelastic but responsive to reduced workplace mobility (0.56). We theorise that crime rate changes were primarily caused by those in mobility, suggesting a mobility theory of crime change in the pandemic. We identify implications for crime theory, policy and future research.

Cite

CITATION STYLE

APA

Halford, E., Dixon, A., Farrell, G., Malleson, N., & Tilley, N. (2020). Crime and coronavirus: Social distancing, lockdown, and the mobility elasticity of crime. Crime Science, 9(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-020-00121-w

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free