Briefing paper

Police-recorded crime trends in Victoria during the COVID-19 pandemic

Publisher
COVID-19 Family violence Crime Public safety Victoria
Description

This paper aims to examine whether and how the COVID-19 pandemic, associated behaviour changes and implemented restrictions impacted on crime in Victoria. It examines whether there were changes in the volume, nature or location of offending recorded by police following the introduction of restrictions in late March 2020 and provides an overview of offences recorded for breaching restrictions introduced to address COVID-19.

While the overall number of offences recorded between April and June 2020 was similar to the number recorded during the same period in 2019, in 2020 there were decreases in the number of property and deception offences recorded and small increases in the number of drug and justice procedures offences recorded. Since March, 6,062 offences have been recorded by police for breaches of COVID-19-related restrictions. The analysis identified that the number of family violence incidents recorded in May and June was significantly higher than what would be expected based on trends over the past five years. Continuing to monitor volumes of family violence incidents recorded throughout the pandemic and triangulating these with other family violence related indicators is paramount to ensuring victim safety.

Key findings:

  • While the overall number of offences recorded between April and June 2020 was similar to the number recorded during the same period in 2019, in 2020 there were decreases in the number of property and deception offences recorded and small increases in the number of drug and justice procedures offences recorded.
  • Between April and June 2020 there was a 19% decrease in the number of non-family violence related serious assaults, a 24% decrease in burglary/break and enter offences, and a 28% decrease in shop steal offences compared with the same period last year.
  • To 30 June 2020, 6,062 offences have been recorded by police for breaches of COVID-19-related restrictions.  
  • One in four offenders recorded for breaching COVID-19 restrictions were female, while the average age was 29.5 years old.
  • The number of family violence incidents recorded in May and June 2020 was significantly higher than what would be expected based on trends over the past five years.
Publication Details
License type:
CC BY
Access Rights Type:
open
Issue:
CSA In Brief No.10, September 2020