As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps Angelenos cooped up inside, crime in the city dropped by 23 percent compared to March 2019, LAPD chief Michel Moore announced Monday.
“People staying home in their neighborhoods, watching out for each other, and exercising social distancing is allowing us to have a safer city,” Moore said.
The decline applies to almost every category of crime, from violent offenses to minor property crimes—only the number of auto thefts increased.
Surprisingly, incidents of family violence dropped 11 percent, though some feared that number would rise as people started losing their patience with forced close quarters.
Chief Moore emphasized, however, that the shelter-in-place order does not mean that people experiencing domestic violence have to remain confined with their abusers, NBC Los Angeles reports.
“We recognize that in times of stress and times of turmoil, family violence can increase,” Moore said. “We want to remind every victim, every survivor of family violence, that we have a place for you, we have a place for you, you do not have to be home, you do not have to be secluded or isolated with someone who is committing violence upon you.”
Meanwhile, CNN reports that California’s Judicial Council passed temporary emergency rules Monday to ease the pressure the virus is putting on the unemployed and the incarcerated. For example, eviction and foreclosure proceedings are suspended for the time being, and statewide bail is now set at $0 for misdemeanors and low-level felonies to “safely reduce jail populations.”
“We are at this point truly with no guidance in either history, law, or precedent,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “And to say that there is no playbook is a gross understatement of the situation.”