CRPD: 2020 Resulted in a Startling Increase in Violent Crime
We had such high hopes coming into this new year, but with the Capitol rioting in Washington earlier this week, 2021 seems to be picking up right where its predecessor left off. Get the latest updates on the aftermath of Wednesday's events in our free mobile app.
Back home, we hear news from CBS2 that the Cedar Rapids Police Department has released some new numbers from 2020, and they include records that aren't exactly brag-worthy.
Police chief Wayne Jerman reveals the data from the department's crime statistics analysis: 415 violent crimes, the highest number since 2008 and among them 12 homicides. There were high-profile murders including that of 18-year-old Marissa Doolin right before Christmas and 20-year-old Malik Sheets earlier in the year.
Believe it or not, COVID-19 restrictions and yes, quarantining and social distancing or lack thereof, played a big role in the disparities in these crimes. For example, crimes committed where the offender comes in contact with strangers (such as robbery, burglary, etc.) are the crimes that were generally lower. Crimes largely committed where the offender commonly victimizes people within their social circles (murder) or where the offender does not necessarily have to come into close contact with other people (theft of motor vehicles) were higher.
They've also had to release criminals from prisons to slow the spread of Coronavirus, and it's reported that 26 percent of individuals were arrested two or more times. 13 individuals were arrested 10-19 times and two individuals were arrested 30 or more times.
Jerman partly chalks it up to the pandemic, and other experts point to the unrest over limited supplies and food, unemployment, and other stressors it created. We can't blame it all on the pandemic, but whatever the causes or motives, crime was on the upswing in a year where people were more cooped up together and more likely to turn on each other and, in general, tensions rose and hostilities were acted on way too often.