Calgary

Break and enters, violent crime calls have plunged since pandemic began, Calgary police say

Home break-and-enter crimes in Calgary have dropped to about half the norm since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and calls about violence have declined by nearly as much, police say.

Break and enter crimes have dropped by 45%, while overall crime calls down by 15%, Calgary police say

Supt. Steve Barlow says calls to police have declined by 15 per cent since the start of the pandemic in Calgary. (CBC)

Home break and enter crimes in Calgary have dropped to about half the norm since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and calls about violence have declined by nearly as much, police say.

Break and enter crimes have dropped 45 per cent since mid-March, according to Supt. Steve Barlow of the Calgary Police Service 

Supt. Steve Barlow said break-ins are generally crimes of opportunity. 

"We believe much of this can be attributed to the vulnerable population seeking shelter, as well as the release of several prolific offenders," he said. 

Police have also seen a huge drop in calls about violence, overall, he said — a decline of 40 per cent since mid-March

He said police believe the closure of bars and nightclubs contributed to the decline. 

Calls for domestic violence have also dropped by about 30 per cent, week over week, although domestic conflict calls have increased, he said.

Overall calls to the Calgary Police Service have declined by 15 per cent, the force says.

People have also taken the opportunity to submit more calls online in order to avoid face-to-face contact with CPS members, something Barlow calls "a great response from the public."

Police get about 30 coronavirus-related calls a day

Officers have been responding to about 30 coronavirus-related calls per day, mostly in the central District 1, Barlow said.

Police have issued nine tickets in relation to public health orders since those orders were implemented, including two in the past week. 

The first ticket issued since the restrictions came into force was to a woman who was not isolating when required and was caught.

Barlow said the service is alerted by Canada Border Services when travellers are returning to the city and will do random checks to ensure they are complying. 

They have done 35 such checks recently and have reported no further infractions. 

Two tickets have been issued to two street preachers downtown, according to Barlow. 

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