Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Los Angeles & SARS-CoV-2 restrictions: Significant decrease in robberies (-23%/-24%), shoplifting (-14%/-15%), thefts (-9.1%/-9.6%), and overall trend of crimes (-5.4%/-5.6%)

Campedelli, Gian M., Alberto Aziani, and Serena Favarin. 2020. “Exploring the Effect of 2019-ncov Containment Policies on Crime: The Case of Los Angeles.” OSF Preprints. March 23. doi:10.31219/osf.io/gcpq8

Abstract: The global spread of 2019-nCoV, a new virus belonging to the coronavirus family, forced national and local governments to apply different sets of measures aimed at containing the outbreak. Los Angeles has been one of the first cities in the United States to declare the state of emergency on March 4th, progressively issuing stronger policies involving (among the others) social distancing, the prohibition of crowded private and public gatherings and closure of leisure premises. These interventions highly disrupt and modify daily activities and habits, urban mobility and micro-level interactions between citizens. One of the many social phenomena that could be influenced by such measures is crime. Exploiting public data on crime in Los Angeles, and relying on routine activity and pattern theories of crime, this work investigates whether and how new coronavirus containment policies have an impact on crime trends in a metropolis. The article specifically focuses on eight urban crime categories, daily monitored from January 1st 2017 to March 16th 2020. The analyses will be updated bi-weekly to dynamically assess the shortand medium-term effects of these interventions to shed light on how crime adapts to such structural modification of the environment. Finally, policy implications are also discussed.

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