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Initial evidence on the relationship between the coronavirus pandemic and crime in the United States

Ashby, MPJ; (2020) Initial evidence on the relationship between the coronavirus pandemic and crime in the United States. Crime Science , 9 , Article 6. 10.1186/s40163-020-00117-6. Green open access

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Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic led to substantial changes in the daily activities of millions of Americans, with many businesses and schools closed, public events cancelled and states introducing stay-at-home orders. This article used police-recorded open crime data to understand how the frequency of common types of crime changed in 16 large cities across the United States in the early months of 2020. Seasonal auto-regressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) models of crime in previous years were used to forecast the expected frequency of crime in 2020 in the absence of the pandemic. The forecasts from these models were then compared to the actual frequency of crime during the early months of the pandemic. There were no significant changes in the frequency of serious assaults in public or (contrary to the concerns of policy makers) any change to the frequency of serious assaults in residences. In some cities, there were reductions in residential burglary but little change in non-residential burglary. Thefts of motor vehicles decreased in some cities while there were diverging patterns of thefts from motor vehicles. These results are used to make suggestions for future research into the relationships between the coronavirus pandemic and different crimes.

Type: Article
Title: Initial evidence on the relationship between the coronavirus pandemic and crime in the United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40163-020-00117-6
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40163-020-00117-6
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Crime, Crime trends
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10098067
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