Crime During COVID-19: A Look At the US and Israel

No matter where you reside in the world, you have no doubt by now been affected by some type of coronavirus quarantine restriction. One interesting revelation to come out of this unprecedented situation is how telling each country’s reaction has been in regards to lockdown restrictions. In the United States, you’ve obviously seen news of the mass protests against quarantines and the hubbub surrounding mask-wearing, but thankfully it seems that Israel is mostly devoid of that.

Working in criminal defense law, I’ve obviously watched the criminal situation in the USA closely for weeks now, thinking about the impact that the virus has had on crime. It’s curious to see the cultural differences between the US and Israel when you consider crime rates during the pandemic, but crime, in general, has been down in both countries during stay-at-home periods, which could lead to lower crime rates post-pandemic as well.

How Crime Was Affected in Israel

While crime in general has gone way down in Israel, there are two types of crimes that have unfortunately increased during quarantine restrictions. Sex crimes were the most common, but violent crimes like domestic assault have also increased as well. Violent crime also doesn’t seem to have dipped much at all in Israel, which is unusual considering many people are sequestered at home.

Fortunately, there are a few types of crimes that Israel has seen less of since quarantine started. Of these, property crimes fell the most, with 45% fewer break-ins reported, probably due to the number of people in their homes at the moment.

How Crime Was Affected in the USA

In the United States, crime rates will obviously vary across this massive country. As a whole, however, it seems that some types of crime are still on the rise despite restriction measures. In Seattle, for instance, burglaries rose a significant percent, while car thefts in general have been on the rise across the nation. Another consequence of restrictions loosening is the rise in violent crime–shootings are becoming more common once again, especially in places like Chicago and Denver.

The good news is that violent crime, in general, is still down from the average in most states, which hopefully will continue to trend. Robberies, in particular, are down quite a bit–perhaps related to the stimulus checks that so many American’s received?

Lower Crime Rates in the Future?

Although the COVID-19 virus has had differing effects on both the USA and Israel, there is one common hope that can come out of this: lower crime rates in the future. Although many people are itching to get back to their normal routines once again, there are many (such as the elderly or those with immune system issues) who will not be as likely to return to their everyday routines. Hopefully, this will lead to lower crime rates in the future, with less violent crime and burglaries happening around the world.

About the Author
I am a seasoned attorney and a published author. I am a regular contributor to Entrepreneur, Forbes, and other editorials. I will only cover topics that are trendy and fall within my areas of expertise.
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