Crime in Northern Ireland fell by nearly a third in the five weeks starting 23 March, according to new figures that give us a first glimpse of how the coronavirus lockdown has affected crime in the UK.
The figures, released by the Police Service of Northern Ireland today, show that all major types of crime have dropped since the beginning of the lockdown.
Sexual offences were down by nearly half (48.8 per cent) compared to the same period last year, with robberies down by 43.9 per cent. Drug offences were down 39.3 per cent and burglaries by 39 per cent, with people spending more time in their homes.
Northern Ireland is the first part of the UK to release records of crime activity that cover a significant time period since the start of the lockdown. Data regarding crime levels for England, Scotland and Wales is only available up to the end of March 2020, so cannot reliably be used to track trends.
The figures for Northern Ireland are for recorded crimes – by definition, crimes that do not get reported to the police will not feature in the statistics.