Crime plummeted in Islington during Covid pandemic, new figures reveal
- Credit: PA
Crime in Islington dropped drastically last year as the country locked down in the coronavirus pandemic, with big drops in burglary, robbery and theft.
Robbery was down by 26 per cent, theft by 25pc, burglary by 20pc, and theft from the person by 29pc, according to figures for 2020 just released by the Office for National Statistics.
Bike thefts were an exception however, increasing by 38pc.
Ch Insp Darren Jones, from the Met's central north command, explained: "There was demand in the market where people took up exercise over the lockdown, but supply in the shops couldn't meet demand, so criminal enterprises saw an opportunity there.
"Pushbikes were the most stolen items in burglaries too, and we would encourage people to consider the safety of their bikes.
"We identified trends around school run times around burglaries, and we didn't see the anticipated rise in commercial burglaries we thought we would with businesses closed."
Vehicle offences, which includes car thefts and thefts from inside cars, were down by 17pc.
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"More people were staying at home, so we saw crime drift towards where there was an available population," he added.
"During the pandemic we saw a shift of theft from motor vehicles from traditional car parks to around hospitals like the Whittington, and we dedicated our hospital team to focus there. Strangely enough bikes were being stolen from around hospitals too.
"Our youth engagement team run a cycle maintenance scheme for young people, and bikes are normally donated to victims of crime, but as a consequence of seeing the thefts we donated the bikes to NHS staff.
Drug offences did see an increase of 14pc.
"The fact we've been able to be more proactive at fighting crime means that drug dealers have stood out more, because they aren't able to blend in with large crowds," said Ch Insp Jones.
"We've been identifying prolific offenders during this period and using behaviour orders and warrants to target these people, as we ease from lockdown.
"We are never going to become complacent about the reduction in crime, and we are aware crime has reduced overall because of a reduction in footfall.
"We are putting in place robust plans for policing as people return to normal lives and to the workplace."