Covid comes to the UK
January 2020 we turned on our TVs and started to see reports from China
of this new strain of virus. Over the next couple of months tensions
rose in the UK until, on 23rd March 2020, the Prime Minister announced
what was to be the first National Lockdown of the UK.
PM's announcement sparked several bizarre consequences. People
wheeling shopping carts full of toilet rolls, shelves stripped of hand
sanitizer, canned goods, rice and pasta.
New rules were
introduced, haphazardly and sometimes overnight. Retailers attempted
to navigate an ever-changing landscape. Massive strain on supply
lines, new hygiene laws and 'Social Distancing'.
hysteria had an almost immediate affect with assaults on staff and
incidents of anti-social behaviour spiking alongside straightforward
theft and shoplifting.
As the population retreated into their
homes and hunkered down for the first time, we saw an immediate effect
on losses to theft and burglary. Bill Gazard, representing the Office
of National Statistics (ONS) Centre for Crime and Justice, told the BBC
that there had been a 'Significant fall' in property crime in England
and Wales at the height of the Lockdown (April and May).
Somewhat predictably, as the lockdown eased so theft increased.