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Hamilton Police report overall drop in crime during pandemic, but commercial break and enters soar

Over the past several weeks, Hamilton Police say they have received 1,089 calls related to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
Over the past several weeks, Hamilton Police say they have received 1,089 calls related to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Don Mitchell / Global News

Hamilton Police are confirming a 12 per cent overall drop in crime during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with some interesting trends.

The police service says since the province’s state of emergency was issued on March 17, assaults are down 26 per cent, impaired driving arrests have fallen 22 per cent, automobile thefts are down 19 per cent, and weapon offences have dropped 12 per cent.

READ MORE: Man charged for allegedly setting fire to restaurant patio in downtown Hamilton, Ont.

On the other end of the scale, commercial break and enters have soared 121 per cent and there’s been a 23 per cent spike in stunt driving.

In response to the trends, Hamilton Police say they’ve increased patrols around closed businesses and are reaching out to local BIAs and the Chamber of Commerce to offer additional Crime Prevention support.

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READ MORE: Police charge two Hamilton residents following nine commercial break and enters

Police are also launching a road safety campaign on Monday to target what they describe as a noted increase in speeding and stunt driving, which coincides with lighter traffic volumes.

Over the past several weeks, Hamilton Police say they have received 1,089 calls related to the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act (EMCPA), and have issued 34 tickets for related violations.

READ MORE: Hamilton bylaw officers have laid more than 100 charges tied to COVID-19 orders

The service says the calls and violations have involved the opening of non-essential businesses, gatherings of more than five people and the use of closed amenities.