COVID and Crime: Analysis of Crime Dynamics Amidst Social Distancing Protocols

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Shelby M Scott

"COVID and Crime: Analysis of Crime Dynamics Amidst Social Distancing Protocols"
In response to the spread of the global pandemic in early 2020, many cities implemented states of emergency and stay at home orders to reduce virus spread. Changes in social dynamics due to restrictions has had an impact on cities across the United States. One change of interest is how crime dynamics shifted in response to quarantine. In this paper, we compare the crimes that occurred before the implementation of stay at home orders and the two weeks after these orders were put in place across three cities. Using t-tests, we find that in Chicago, Illinois, Baltimore, Maryland, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana, total crimes showed significant declines in the two weeks following stay at home orders. Chicago showed the most stark differences between these two time periods, but in all three cities the crime types contributing to these declines were related to property crime rather than interpersonal interactions.
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