Staying Home Saves Lives, Really!
12 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 2, 2020
As coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is spreading around the world, many national and local governments have imposed social restrictive measures to limit the spread of the virus. Such quarantine measures in different cities across the world have brought a new trend in public safety improvement and crime reduction. Using daily crime reports in the US and European major cities, the aim of this project is to evaluate the effects of quarantine and "shelter-in-place" policies on different crime categories. We adopt a difference in difference strategy to evaluate the change in crime rates. Early results from Oakland and San Francisco in the U.S. suggest a drop by about 40\% across the communities and crime categories in both cities. While theft, homicide, and traffic accidents have fallen sharply, domestic violence incidents show no sign of reduction from our early observations. These trends although promising a glimpse of positive outcome for the community during the outbreak, may not have a lasting impact in the long term.
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