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How Did COVID-19 Affect 2020 Crime Rates?


When a national emergency was declared earlier this year, millions of Americans were faced with new struggles of mandatory shutdowns and orders that affected how their lives would be for the foreseeable future. With so much uncertainty, many faced uncommon amounts of stress associated with health and employment, as well as questions of how long this would last. Months after the first case was reported in the United States, we have seen a roller coaster of crime trends across the country.

Between March 16 and April 12, major crime rates increased by 6% in Atlanta, Georgia. At the same time, rates for less severe crimes dropped by 29%.

How Have State Executive Orders Impacted This?

From the beginning of the pandemic, the Governor's office has been adamant about the usage of masks, hand washing, and social distancing practices. In fact, on July 31, the Governor extended his executive orders on this subject.

Executive Order renewed the state's public health emergency and required the following from residents:

  • Practice social distance

  • Refrain from gathering in groups of more than 50 people unless a six-foot minimum can be maintained

  • High-risk people susceptible to the virus should shelter in place

Which Crimes Have Increased?

Calls reporting aggravated assaults have increased slightly at 4%. According to the Atlanta Police Department, aggravated assault reports increased due to the association with domestic violence. Domestic violence has increased during the pandemic because more people are staying at home. This percentage increased by 42% in May.

The Police Chief stated that more conversations are taking place with more people staying at home, leading to arguments that wouldn't ordinarily be going on.

Positive News in Georgia

Despite some surges in crime, the news hasn't been entirely bad. According to the Atlanta Police Department, violent crime went down by 13%. Reports of rape went down even further by 86%. This happened in the early months of the pandemic because the bars were closed, and people weren't out drinking.

Hiring an Atlanta Criminal Defense Attorney

We know that our country's constantly changing state has lead to uncommon amounts of stress that can lead some to commit crimes. If you have been charged with any kind of crime, contact Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum to schedule a free consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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