The Effects of COVID-19 on Crime in San Antonio
Some Crime Rates Stats are Up in San Antonio
With fewer people out on the streets under COVID-19 “Stay at Home” orders, most large US cities saw a general decrease in crime. However, not every crime number dropped. For instance, closed businesses were targeted for burglary more than open businesses or homes, and while most cities saw a drop in violent crime during the past three months, 12 major cities saw increases, including Austin and Houston.
With economic strain and fear of COVID-19 looming over our community, here’s how San Antonio faired throughout the lockdown:
- In San Antonio, burglaries increased by 12.7%, which translates to 3,019 cases from the beginning of January to the end of March compared to last year.
- Unsurprisingly, with all restaurants and bars closed, DWI arrests decreased between the months of March and April, from 318 last year to 147 arrests. Nonetheless, 147 DWI arrests during a period like this is still a significantly high number.
- Family violence related calls increased 18% in March compared to the same time last year.
- In Leon Valley, vehicle burglaries and criminal mischief cases rose by 50%, up 12 cases from the same time last year.
Why Overall Crime Rates Are Down
Crime rates, as a whole, fell for a number a reasons. For example, there may have been fewer DWI and drug arrests because there were less people driving and also because police officers were instructed to make stops only if absolutely necessary to avoid exposure to COVID-19. They were also instructed to issue citations instead of making arrests for the same reason. Also, despite overall crime rates decreasing during COVID-19, San Antonio, as noted above, still saw a spike in burglaries and domestic violence, but statistics were far worse in cities likes Austin and Houston.
For police officers, COVID-19 and all the associated restrictions have made an already dangerous job even more dangerous. Nevertheless, the community can be confident that San Antonio Police Officers will continue to do what they need to do in order to keep us safe. It truly is a job like no other.