Coronavirus: Crime in east London down by almost a third but domestic abuse reports increase during lockdown, top cop says

Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman of East Area Command. Picture: PA

Det Ch Supt Stephen Clayman of East Area Command. Picture: PA - Credit: PA

Overall crime in east London has fallen by almost a third during the lockdown but domestic abuse reports are on the rise, a police chief has revealed.

East Area borough commander Detective Chief Superintendent Stephen Clayman revealed that crime demand has changed since the Covid-19 restrictions were put in place last month.

In the three weeks from March 23, the total number of offences in Havering, Redbridge and Barking and Dagenham is down exactly 1,100 cases on the same period last year – a 30 per cent drop.

But Det Ch Supt Clayman revealed that between March 31 and April 12, reports of domestic abuse offences increased by around a quarter – with the biggest rises in Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge.

He confirmed the change equated to between 40 and 50 extra reports in each of these boroughs, with a much smaller rise in Havering.

He said: “We are responding to domestic abuse all of the time and we will continue to do so. That’s a very strong message from me. We continue to arrest, we continue to charge, we will continue to be there to support and protect people.

“We want people to be vigilant and call us if there is an issue. No one should have to suffer an abusive relationship.”

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Robbery of personal property fell to just 38 cases across the three boroughs in a three week spell from March 23, down 80pc on the same time last year, while residential burglary reduced by 26pc.

Det Ch Supt Clayman added: “With the decrease in some of those crimes, we have seen the increase in the Covid type calls which we are having to manage.”

He did not reveal specific figures for Covid-19 related offences but said enforcement has been “very low”.

Among the calls the Met has received include reports of barbecues and house parties.

“We have seen generally good compliance,” Det Ch Supt Clayman said. “It is concerning if people are having visitors unnecessarily. Having a house party is not acceptable.

“We will apply a common sense approach and we will only enforce when we absolutely need to. If people are ignoring the advice, then we may have no alternative.”

He urged anyone affected by domestic abuse to contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247.