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How the COVID-19 pandemic has affected crime rates 

The pandemic has affected many areas of people’s lives, including shopping habits, education, and more. Now, a new study has found that it also impacted crime rates. 

The study was recently released by the Council on Criminal Justice (CJR), looking at crime trends in 37 US cities. It found that the numbers for some types of crimes have declined. However, other types of crimes are still higher than pre-pandemic levels. 

One type of crime that the study found had declined was homicide. The data shows that the number of murders was 9.4% lower in the first half of this year than in 2022. Twenty out of 37 of the cities recorded a drop in homicides, ranging from 59% in Raleigh to 2% in Nashville. 

The research also found that rates of the following crimes are now lower: gun assaults declined by 5.6%, robberies by 3.6%, non-residential burgeries by 5%, residential burglaries by 3.8%, aggravated assault by 2.5%, and larcenies by 4.1%. 

At the same time, there were other types of crimes that had increased. For example, the number of drug offenses has increased by 1% and domestic violence rose by 0.3%.

According to the study, the crime that saw the biggest increase in 2023 was car theft. The data shows that the number of data vehicles being stolen started to climb at the beginning of the pandemic, and the trend has continued in that direction since. 

In the first half of 2023, motor vehicle theft was 33.5% higher than the previous year and 104.3% higher than the same period in 2019. 

In total, there were 23,974 vehicles stolen in the cities that reported data. In seven of those cities, thefts increased by over 100%, with Rochester seeing the biggest jump at 355%. This was followed by Cincinnati at 162%. 

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