Beckley Police Officers discuss crime trends in 2020

Local News

BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Lockdown orders, social distancing, face masks are all aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic which changed the way we live our lives.

The pandemic also changed crime in the city of Beckley, according to Lt. Dave Allard with the city’s police department.

“As I’ve looked through all the numbers, it does appear across the board, for Beckley at least, that crime has been down in almost every category,” Allard said.

Lt. Allard said stay at home orders had people staying inside and criminals staying away.

“If you have more people at home, there’s less victims available for a burglary, or for a theft from an automobile because people are more likely to hear those things and see those things,” Allard explained.

With bars being closed, people were less likely to get behind the wheel after a few drinks.
Lt. Allard also said officers limited their contact with the public, so they were less likely to catch someone driving with alcohol or drugs.

“They weren’t as strictly enforcing the traffic laws, the very minor traffic offenses which a lot of times lead to drug arrests or driving under the influence arrests,” Allard said.

A few things did increase. Lt. Allard said officers responded to more overdoses and domestic assault calls.

“I think that can be attributed to people being agitated, being together and being locked in. We see that a lot during the winter months so that would make sense,” Allard said.

Allard said those numbers leveled off towards the end of 2020, assuming people adjusted to the pandemic lifestyle.

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