Area Bail Agents

The Covid 19 Pandemic and Crime

In Louisville, Kentucky, a mayoral candidate, Craig Greenberg, was getting ready for an important campaign meeting at his headquarters location when someone fired a gun. This took place in mid-February on a Monday morning. The bullet barely missed him, grazing his shirt.

After the shooting occurred, Greenberg spoke at a press conference explaining what exactly happened. He said, “A man walked into our office. When we greeted him, he pulled out a gun, aimed directly at me, and began shooting.” The mayoral candidate admitted that it was a terrifying moment, but he is glad to be fine.

Although this was a very scary and shocking moment that occurred in Louisville, it is important to realize that this is only one event showing the increase in crime across the entire United States. In fact, when analyzing the crime in the major cities, you will notice a tremendous uptick in violent crimes as the pandemic continues. Below, I will elaborate further on a few of the largest cities in America that are experiencing alarming increases in crime waves.

New York City: 

According to data from the police in the largest city in the U.S., in the year 2021, there were 350 rapes, felony assaults, and murders from February 7th to February 13th. The same exact week in 2022 shows 474 of these same types of incidents.


Chicago is always in the news for its crime, so it seemed very appropriate to include it in this list. According to police data, the crime in Chicago is only getting worse. For the first two months of 2022, the crime has increased by 7 percent. That may not seem like a large number, but when you look at the first two months of 2019, before the pandemic, crime has increased in Chicago by 100 percent.

Los Angeles:

With the head of the Los Angeles Police Department warning a couple months ago to not visit because they cannot guarantee your safety, I knew that crime had to be increasing in this city. When looking at the data from the Los Angeles Police Department, 2022 has seen a 4-percent increase in the first couple of months compared to early 2020, before the pandemic began.


As of February 15, 2022, the Houston Police Department reported 62 homicides. This number is a 32-percent increase compared to the same exact date in 2021. When comparing 2021 to 2020, the police department reported 476 murders in 2021 and 392 in 2020.

Howard Henderson, an individual who works for the Texas Southern University’s Center for Justice Research explained that even though these rising crime rates are hair-raising, “We still don’t know the impact of COVID-19 on violent crime – it’s going to take time.”

It is important to note that large cities are not the only ones seeing an uptick in crime. Rural areas are seeing rising crime trends as well. According to The New York Times, throughout the summer of 2021, smaller cities in Oklahoma, Florida, and Missouri experienced fatal shootings.

When there seems to be so much bad going on in the world, it is essential to still look for the brighter side of things. In this case, it is true that crime has continued to rise during the pandemic, but we are very lucky that it has not reached the levels that we saw across America in the 1980s and 1990s.

The data from the FBI shows that violent crime was at its worse in 1991, which was 758 violent crimes per 100,000 people. In 2001, the new numbers were 504 per 100,000 people, and, in 2011, it was 387 per 100,000 people. That is a significant decline.

The FBI currently only shows data through the year 2020. However, when analyzing the current data, you can see a small increase from 380 to 400. The CDC reported its data showing that the murders in the United States increased by 30 percent between 2019 – 2020. This is a big deal because it was the largest increase in a single year in over a century. As a matter of fact, the last time there was such a big increase was when the Twin Towers were attacked in 2001, which resulted in a 20-percent increase in crime reported.

A professional criminologist employed by Northeastern University, James Alan Fox, spoke out to The Associated Press, stating that the crime wave seen in 2020 was an unusual circumstance that he believes was caused by the pandemic. He said, “I don’t want to minimize what’s happened. I just don’t want people to believe that the sky is falling and that this is permanent.”

On the other hand, Robert Anderson, the chief of the mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics, does not believe that we should blame the increasing crime on the pandemic. In fact, he urges people not to form a connection between the two. He said, “You really have to look at other patterns and there certainly seems to be a correlation between the two but as we know correlation is not causation.” All in all, he mentions that it is going to take a considerable amount of research before pinpointing the exact cause.