CRIME on the Isle of Wight has fallen by eight per cent during the Covid pandemic.

In figures released today by the Isle of Wight's Community Safety Partnership (CSP), the impact of Covid has been shown on crime rates between April 2020 and March 2021.

With three lockdowns over the 12-month period, as well as the restrictive tier system, 679 fewer crimes were reported than in the previous year, although some sectors saw a rise.

Although crime fell by 7.8 per cent on the Island, nationally there has been a 13.1 per cent reduction. The Island's crime rate is lower than the national average — at 64.5 per 1,000 on the IW and 77.6 per 1,000 in England.

Isle of Wight County Press:

So how did Covid affect crime on the Island?

In the strategic assessment, the CSP said lockdowns resulting in fewer opportunities for crimes to take place as people remained in their homes and businesses were closed.

Although there has been a reduction overall, some areas have seen an increase in activity including anti-social behaviour, drug offences and domestic abuse.

Isle of Wight County Press:

Of all recorded crimes on the Island, 5.3 per cent are in the form of drug offences, with 486 reported incidents in 2020/21 — a 30 per cent increase on the previous year.

The areas that saw the greatest reductions were those relating to theft — with shoplifting down 58 per cent, theft from a person down 45 per cent and non-residential burglary 41 per cent.

The CSP also said social distancing and the closure of eateries, pubs and clubs had led to a reduction in violence with and without injury, also showing a decrease in violence between strangers and acquaintances.

Violence with injury crime was down 18 per cent, with a reduction of 284 reported offences and 124 fewer reported violence without injury offences on the previous year.

Sexual offences were down nine per cent, with 428 reported offences last year; a reduction of 42 incidents in 2019/20.

Roads were also safer this year as road traffic injury collision data showed a 'significant reduction', with only 214 records.

Of those recorded road traffic incidents, up to February 2021, 70.6 per cent were slight, 28 per cent were serious and 1.4 per cent were fatal.

The increase in anti-social behaviour (ASB) was shown in a peak time, in August, when there was an easing of lockdown restrictions. A total of 2,438 ASB incidents were recorded in 2020/21, an increase of 61 on the previous years.

Isle of Wight County Press:

There was an increase in stalking and harassment offences, partially due to a change in the way incidents are recorded, which saw a 25 per cent rise and 280 more incidents than 2019/20.

Of the violence against people crimes, 35.8 per cent were flagged as domestic violence, with over 1,900 recorded incidents — 100 more than last year.