Assaults on emergency workers have surged as lockdown restrictions eased across the UK.
Despite a 7% drop in recorded crime, assaults against police officers and other emergency services personnel was up 31% in the four weeks to August 2, compared with last year.
Shoplifting was down 30%, residential burglaries dropped by 23% and assaults were down 16%, according to the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
Recorded rape was up 2% in England and Wales, compared with the same period last year.
Meanwhile, a staggering 18,683 fixed-penalty notices have been issued under new coronavirus laws in England and Wales between March 27 and August 17.
But the new police data indicates certain crime trends are returning towards pre-lockdown levels.
Previous reporting showed a 28% reduction for the four weeks to April 12, a 25% fall for the four weeks to May 10, an 18% fall in the four weeks to June 7, and a 12% fall in recorded crime for the four week to July 5.
The 7% fall in the latest bulletin continues the trend that recorded crime is getting closer to 2019 levels.
Martin Hewitt, chairman of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: ‘One consequence of the restrictions was the reduction in crime.
‘Sadly, we are now seeing crime getting closer to the levels we saw in 2019.
‘Police forces are busy tackling and preventing crime, and providing a policing service to their communities, while continuing to play their part in the national effort to limit the spread of coronavirus.
‘I am disgusted to see an increase in assaults on emergency service workers who are the front line in protecting us all including from this deadly virus.
‘We will use the full force of the law to prosecute anyone who uses violence against those who are on the front line.’
While crime appears to be returning to pre-lockdown levels, penalties for breaking Government measures have tailed off considerably.
In the last four-week period just 13 fines were issued by forces in England.
A total of 46 fixed-penalty notices were issued between June 15 and August 17 for breaches of face covering rules, the majority (38) for not wearing a covering on public transport.
The remaining eight related to not wearing a covering in a shop.
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