CHICAGO (CBS) — As coronavirus cases increase, crime numbers in Chicago are decreasing. The COVID-19 pandemic is keeping people at home, and that’s curbing significant crimes.
Downtown there has been a 60% drop, putting crime at its lowest in years.
The streets downtown are desolate with no one out and about.
Friday afternoon Chicago police were called to West 40th near California. Someone opened fire in the Brighton Park neighborhood. Those bullets hit two men, including a postal worker. While flashing police lights are common, since the pandemic officers haven’t responded to many similar scenes.
CBS 2 analyzed the Chicago Police Department’s data. It shows overall shootings dropped 19% in the week the governor ordered the shelter-in-place.
“We cant’ celebrate and wish that people will see how sad this pandemic of coronavirus is and think violence will not happen,” said community activist Robin Hood.
Hood has been fighting to keep the streets of Chicago safe for years.
“Gun violence has been a pandemic for the last 20 years to me,” he said.
The data reveals during the stay-at-home orders last week, Monday through Thursday, the 42nd Ward including downtown saw crime drop 61 percent. Only 31 incidents were reported to police compared to 91 incidents the same week last year. Yet when you head south into the 8th Ward, the Chatham Pullman and South Shore Communities only saw a 23% drop for the same time period.
Hood believes those numbers will creep back up if the pandemic continues.
“Everyone is out of school. All the youths are home. Eventually they’re going to come outside.”
Fewer people on the streets should equate to fewer opportunities to become a victim. Chicago went seven days with only one shooting, but Hood believes communities struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic will be impacted the most when this is over.
“Twenty-five percent of youths between ages 16 and 25 were unemployed before the coronavirus, and now we got on top of that 100 percent of people that’s not employed,” Hood said.