The pandemic affected all industries and activities, including crime. The lockdowns last year had a remarkable effect on crime rates. In the U.S., crime rates fell to 23% during the first month of the stay-at-home orders. The same happened during the 1 18 Spanish flu pandemic. Evidently, criminals are hindered by health protocols and strict law enforcement. But does it mean we’re safe and secure at home during this time?
It may depend on the type of crime in question. In England and Wales, for example, robbery and theft dropped dramatically during the pandemic, but reports of stolen dogs have increased. Since many people turned to pets to ease their isolation, the man’s best friend became a popular target of thieves. Meanwhile, in Asia, particularly the Philippines, crime rates also fell, but incidents of carnapping (car theft), robbery, theft, and physical injuries remained high.
Why Crime Rates Fell
The decrease in the population’s mobility discouraged burglars and other criminals to act. The lockdowns meant no one would be outside unless it was for essential reasons, like going to the pharmacy or hospital. Those types of errands and activities didn’t present opportunities for criminals. Moreover, business establishments were closed, so stealing goods became more challenging
Homes became a bad target either. With people cooped up indoors, burglars didn’t dare intrude on anyone’s property and risk being caught. Normally, burglars break into homes between 10 AM and 3 PM, the times when people are in the office. But since the pandemic, almost all office employees have worked from home. Even if they might be too focused on work to notice burglars breaking in, other members of the family could take notice and catch the criminal red-handed.
Why Certain Types of Crimes Rose
If home burglaries in the U.S. dropped, commercial burglaries rose. Despite the challenges in robbing a closed business establishment, burglars still took their chances. And that was due to the fewer eyes watching nonresidential places. Since people are at home, commercial establishments were neglected, making them more attractive to burglars.
Car theft also rose in the U.S. It’s another crime we can attribute to the stay-at-home orders. With traveling restricted, more cars were left parked without security. In Philadelphia, for instance, car theft jumped 2.5 times as high as pre-pandemic levels.
In the case of England and Wales, where dog theft increased, we can pinpoint its cause to people’s dependence on furry companions during the lockdown, as stated above. So even if global burglary and theft declined, we’re by no means 100% safe and secure inside our homes. Our valuable belongings and pets can be at risk for theft if we’re not vigilant. If you own a business, your equipment, supplies, and stocks may also be in danger.
Security Pointers for Homes and Businesses
We shouldn’t drop our guards just because burglars seem to be on a break. The same old security rules still apply: lock your doors and windows, especially at night.
Now that we’re going back to normal, it’s even more crucial to monitor the security of our properties. Business owners should use sturdy locks for their entrances and stock rooms. If budget permits, they should also invest in a high-tech security system, which includes security cameras with night vision, as well as burglar alarms.
Our homes are what we should watch more, though. If you own a too-friendly pet, expensive cars, and gadgets, or anything attractive to a burglar, increase your security by installing crime deterrents all over your property. Use both automated and manual systems. Sophisticated home security systems are now available in the market, so scan your options and choose the one that’ll offer you the best protection within your budget.
Manual security systems shouldn’t be overlooked because they can be your first line of defense. If a burglar doesn’t spot a security camera immediately, it’s your locked doors that can impede them. But don’t even let them reach your doorstep in the first place. Contact a reputable fence contractor, and let them help you choose the best type of fence for your property. Then use sturdy padlocks to successfully bar a burglar’s entry.
If you live in an area where dogs are often stolen, try to keep your furbaby indoors. At night, let them sleep in your room. If you keep your dog outdoors for security purposes, keep them safe within your fences. That will delay a thief, giving your dog time to wake you up and alert you.
With the things we’re thinking about during the pandemic being stressful enough, it can feel dispiriting to add home security to our responsibilities. But criminals don’t truly take breaks. Security is a lifetime responsibility. Thankfully, security systems have improved, allowing us to stay safe while our attentions are somewhere else.