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The crime statistics released today show a 5% decrease in crime in the West Midlands, the same as a 5% average decrease across England and Wales.

Commenting on the crime statistics, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson said:

“We know that these statistics are somewhat of an anomaly created by the national lockdown throughout March – June 2020. Due to many more people staying at home, clearly we have seen a reduction in some crimes, acquisitive crimes such as burglary and shoplifting.

“However, what COVID-19 and the lockdown has also caused an epidemic of domestic abuse. This is one of the greatest concerns we have and why I worked with partners across the West Midlands throughout the lockdown period on a campaign to increase reporting of domestic abuse and make sure there is support for victims.

“I have severe concerns that the rapidly worsening economic climate is going to have a long term impact on crime. Most leading economists are predicting a huge rise in unemployment; a hardship that our young people may have to endure for an unspecified period of time. The correlation between unemployment and criminality is well known. This will be worsened by the ending of the furlough scheme.

“As the year progresses, we could see large numbers of young people find that there is no job for them and they may have very limited opportunity for paid employment once the lockdown is lifted. In my view, this is a ticking time bomb. Some of these young people, particularly young men, could well be drawn into antisocial behaviour, which in some cases will graduate into serious violence and crime.”

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