Working paper Open Access

COVID-19 Lockdowns' Impact on Crime in London

Li, Yijing

The study tried to depict the spatio-temporal change of crime in London over the pandemic from March 2020 to December 2020, complemented by the analyses on confirmed coronavirus cases and mobility change by London boroughs and land use types during the target period respectively. Temporally, three national milestone periods (23 rd March to 10 th May, 3 rd August to 31 st August and 31 st October to 2 nd December) had been selected as benchmark to evaluate the crime-deterrent or criminogenic effects from either lockdown or Eat-Out policies. Upon identifying (1) the most changed crime types affected by the pandemic geographically; (2) the most influenced areas (so- called hot spots) at borough and LSOA level in explanation of their sociodemographic features; and (3) the most affected land use types over pan-London measured by mobility for future crime reduction and prevention, it aims to develop new forms of knowledge in order to target future projections around crime reduction, to help fill the gap between cutting-edge data analytics and strategic and operational policy-making, and make London a safer city post COVID-19 by making best use of data and digital technology. Crucially, given the importance of the ‘policing by consent’ ethos practiced by London policing, it also targeted to understand fluctuations in key societal factors both temporally and spatially, so as to improve services to Londoners through the use of evidence

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