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Crime in the Czech Republic fell during state of emergency

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Crime fell in the annual comparison during the months when the state of emergency was declared over the coronavirus in the Czech Republic, police headquarters spokesman Ondrej Moravcik told journalists today.

In March, the overall crime rate fell by one-quarter, in April by one-third and in May by roughly 7 percent, Moravcik said in a press release.

The decline was recorded in almost all observed areas, with the biggest fall having been in criminal acts connected with outdoor movement of persons.

The government declared the state of emergency on March 12 and ended it in mid-May.

“As against last year, the number of burglaries diminished by over 13 percent, breach of the peace by 15 percent and thefts by almost 16 percent,” Moravcik said.

By contrast, the police have registered a one-fifth growth in homicides in the first five months of the year, but a substantial part of them occurred in February, before the onset of the coronavirus measures.

The crime rate has been falling for a number of years, except for 2019, when it rose by 3.5 percent to 199,221 criminal acts.

Domestic violence did not escalate in the period under observation.

During the state of emergency and after it, the police also checked its observance and other lockdown measures.

Between March 16 and June 10, the police made 970,000 checks, having uncovered 9,000 minor delicts they handed over to the relevant law-enforcement bodies.

“Most often, there was the violation of the duty to wear face masks, of the gathering ban and to have businesses closed due to the emergency rules,” Moravcik said.

He said right on the scene, the police solved almost 200 minor delicts under the emergency law and the public health protection law.

“However, the crushing majority of the violation of the government measures was only resolved by a reprimand and the police focused on providing information and prevention,” Moravcik said.

There were 18 cases of the crime of spreading an infectious disease, connected with COVID-19, he added.

Between mid-March and mid-June, over 2,000 policemen served on the borders, most of them in May. The Czech-German and Czech-Polish border crossings needed the most protection, Moravcik said.

Throughout the period, the police checked over two million people when coming to the Czech Republic and roughly 1.8 million when leaving it on the border.

The police also helped repatriate Czechs. “In all, there were over 1,500 persons returning from abroad whom we helped when going to their place of residence,” Moravcik said.

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