A senior officer has warned police should be ready to deal with a “more volatile and agitated society” after lockdown measures are eased.
CHIEF Supt Paul Griffiths, president of the Police Superintendents’ Association, said that economic difficulties can lead to a “significant rise in crime and disorder.”
He said: “There are going to be people out of work, businesses that haven’t been able to sustain themselves. The impact on society will start to come through.”
Mr Griffiths added: “My worry is that there will be societal impacts from what we’ve gone through over those months. Those consequences could be a more volatile and agitated society. There may be impacts for individual mental health. What will that mean?”
Crime levels in England and Wales have fallen by more than a quarter during the pandemic, with a 28 per cent decrease in the four weeks to April 12 compared with that period last year. There has been a 27 per cent drop in vehicle crime, serious assault and personal robbery, and recorded rape offences have fallen 37 per cent.
Fears have been raised of an increase in domestic violence amid enforced isolation at home, and police have seen an increase of 3 per cent in recorded offences year on year.