Most major crime is down as Toronto battles COVID-19 outbreak, police say
Police investigate the scene of a shooting in a parking lot in the west-end of Toronto, on the morning of Thursday, Oct., 31, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
TORONTO -- Toronto police have confirmed that crime is down in city, with the exception of homicides, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“While it is far too early to make any determination on possible crime trends during this time, we do know that since March 16, 2020, our weekly statistics show a decline in all major crime categories (except homicides, which have remained stable),” Toronto police spokesperson Meaghan Gray said in an email to CP24 on Monday morning.
Gray added that the drop in crime could be attributed to the social distancing and self-isolation practices Toronto residents have been adopting since the number of cases started to climb in the city.
“Most of these crimes are against people (assaults, robbery), but even crimes against property (auto theft, break-and-enters) have dropped,” Gray said.
As of Sunday, Toronto Public Health says that there are 540 cases of COVID-19 reported in the city, 39 of which are currently hospitalized. Toronto health officials say of those 39, 18 are being treated in the intensive care unit.
Gray says that despite the numbers, each police division has been tasked with monitoring locations of closed businesses across the city for the purpose of “preventing and detecting crime.”
“This is achieved through intelligence-led crime analytics, leading to increased uniform visibility ensuring our officers are where the public needs them the most.”
Gray said that there are tools available for store and restaurant owners regarding crime prevention available on their website.
As always, Gray says that anyone who sees a crime in progress should call 911.
Any business owner discovering a break-and-enter or damage to a property is asked to call 416-808-2222 or report online.