Is COVID the Reason for More Violent Crime in Houston?Published: Sep 29, 2020 in COVID-19, Violent Crimes
Despite the downward trend in overall crime since the start of the pandemic, certain cities have seen a steady increase of violent crimes, such as shootings and homicides. Houston for example has seen an increase in commercial burglaries since the stay-at-home order began. And while it makes sense that crimes of opportunity will happen, people often find themselves over charged based on circumstances outside of their control.
If you’ve ever been charged with a violent crime in Houston or arrested in Harris County, TX, reach out to the Law Office of Ned Barnett for a free and confidential consultation. By working with a lawyer early, you can reduce the damage to your life by possibly avoiding charges altogether or securing a dismissal that clears things up.
What Crimes Are Increasing in Houston?
In addition to commercial burglaries, murders increased 7% in the first six months of 2020. Aggravated assaults went up 21 %, but dropped after June. In addition to these offenses, domestic violence cases overall jumped 6%.
Is COVID the Cause?
The spike in Houston’s crime rate is not really surprising, given how the pandemic has upended many people’s lives. While drug crimes in general might be down because of disrupted drug routes and less activity on the street, violence and crimes related to drugs are likely to increase in the short term.
More domestic violence and assault charges are at least in part due to families staying home together more than normal. As a result many of these types of charges involve people who know each other rather than violent encounters with strangers.
Whether or not the recent increase is directly tied to the pandemic and sudden financial uncertainty brought on by higher unemployment is still open for debate. According to University of Pennsylvania professor David Abrams, who conducted a nation-wide study of crime during the pandemic, said that the small rise in Houston murders was “statistical noise and not a meaningful trend.”
Regardless, of the underlying issues, we should be monitoring the trend and paying attention to the fact that a disproportionate amount of these offenses are occurring inside people’s homes.
Call the Law Office of Ned Barnett for Help
If you are under investigation for a violent crime or have been charged with an offense in the Houston area, contact The Law Offices of Ned Barnett right away. Having an attorney by your side can protect your rights and ensure you get a chance to explain your side of things without doing unnecessary damage.
Attorney Ned Barnett has 30 years of experience, first as a state and federal prosecutor, and then as a criminal defense attorney. He is a board-certified as a criminal lawyer by the Texas Board of Specialization, and has a track record of obtaining the best outcomes possible for his clients.