*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Medical Daily.
After the pandemic was declared in March, the U.S. government issued orders to enforce social distancing, closure of schools and prohibition of large gatherings. These measures affected crime rates and distribution across the country.
Burglary of homes was reduced due to people spending more time indoors, not giving opportunities to thieves. However, domestic violence increased with more contact between violent family members and their victims in the U.S.
A recent study led by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), examined the types of crimes that increased during the quarantine. The team focused on two cities, namely Los Angeles and Indianapolis, after the restrictions were implemented on schools, restaurants, and bars from March 16 onwards. While stay-at-home orders were announced on March 20 in Los Angeles, it was enforced on March 24 in Indianapolis.
Upon examination of phone calls received by the police between January 2 and April 18 in Los Angeles and from January 2 to April 21 in Indianapolis, it was found that shelter-in-place rules caused an increase in calls reporting domestic violence. Researchers proceeded to scan crime statistics on investigations conducted by the police.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, both Los Angeles and Indianapolis already have seen significant increases in domestic violence calls to the police, and we know domestic violence is one of the crimes least reported to the police,” Jeffrey Brantingham, the study’s senior author and UCLA professor of anthropology, said in the news release.