POLICE chiefs have said the coronavirus lockdown has seen a drastic drop in crime rates.
Violent crimes have almost halved compared to this time in 2019.
Recorded burglaries have also fallen by over a third, according to figures released by West Midlands Police.
Across the constabulary, the month of March saw knife crime down by 39 per cent year-on-year.
As expected during the unprecedented national lockdown to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, most recorded crimes are down.
But domestic violence incidents are unchanged on 2019 – West Midlands Police it had arrested 400 domestic abuse suspects in the last fortnight.
Assistant Chief Constable Jayne Meir, said: “We’re grateful to the vast, vast majority of our communities for following the advice and staying at home to stop the spread of the disease and save lives.
“With more people at home we’ve also seen a significant reduction in traditional crimes such as burglaries.
“It means with fewer crimes we’re able to use more resources on the streets, engaging with the public and encouraging everyone to maintain the Government’s measures.
“There’s also been a lot work over the last 12 months to tackle crimes which impact on people across the West Midlands. The latest annual figures show we’ve had a 15 per cent drop in house burglaries, 13 per cent for vehicle offences and six per cent fewer robberies.
“However, people need to be mindful there are some callous individuals who may look to use the pandemic to commit crime, sending out malicious emails in a bid to get banking details or hack computers or by posing as bogus police or health officials to access homes. So please still be vigilant.”
On lockdown policing, the constabulary said: “Please exercise common sense. We won’t be able to dispatch officers for minor infringements of the rules. Clearly mass gatherings of people is not a minor infringement and we would want to know about that so we can take appropriate action.”