Crime in the Era of COVID-19: Evidence from England

Kyriakos Neanidis, Maria Paola Rana

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This paper examines the effects of COVID-19-induced lockdowns on recorded crime in England. The enforcement of lockdowns at both the national and local levels allows unveiling the impact on criminal activities by type of shutdown policy. Using official crime data across the universe of local authorities, we find that unlike local lockdowns national lockdowns significantly change the shape of recorded criminal activity, with the first nationally-imposed lockdown having the strongest impact. Findings also reveal that police operations play a prominent role in explaining changes in reported crimes. Back-of-the-envelope calculations suggest that lockdowns reduced the economic costs of crime by £4.2 billion.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1100-1130
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Regional Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • crime
  • lockdown
  • police


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