Certain crimes see increase during COVID-19 pandemic

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — COVID-19 continues to halt and slow down daily life, but a pandemic is not stopping crimes from happening.

Jeffrey Shumate, the Special Investigator for the Raleigh County Prosecutor’s Office, said crimes are still happening.

“Statistically, I think that the crime rate has kind of remained steady, just kind of a different kind of crime,” Shumate said.

Shumate said those crimes are domestic violence, child abuse, and drug and alcohol related crimes. He said it is due to people spending more time at home. He also said child abuse cases are going up because kids are not in school, and they are not getting regular welfare checks by school officials. Shumate added the stress of the pandemic could also be playing a part.

“The reason you see that increase and just anxiety and stress that comes from the situation that we’re living in,” Shumate explained.

Shumate said these types of crimes often rise during the winter months as well, but some crimes are being deterred by the pandemic.

“As far as burglaries occur, the majority of those are people breaking into homes that no one is home, so some of those who are working from home and are at their residence more often, it lessens the opportunity for those people to commit those crimes,” Shumate said.

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