Questions and answers about
the economy.

Covid-19 and crime in England

The Covid-19 outbreak has changed the landscape for both licit and illicit activities. This project addresses the impact of the crisis on the latter by examining its effect on crime and criminal outcomes in England. The effect is prompted due to changes caused by the pandemic in the routine activities of individuals, the limited social interaction, the fear and anxiety resulting from isolation, and the financial stress of job losses and reduced income, all having the potential to influence criminal behaviour and do so differently for different types of crime. The analysis will offer the first comprehensive investigation of the link between criminality and Covid-19 manifested by the social distancing and shelter in place measures introduced in England. To achieve this, it will examine the direct crime-Covid-19 relationship in panel data models for a variety of crime types across the territorial police forces in the country. By doing so, the analysis will offer clarity about the disaggregated estimates of the effect of Covid-19 on criminal activities across English localities. This question is of first-order importance in the economics of crime in the current environment and will inform evidence-based policy and practice.

Lead investigator:

Kriakos C. Neanidis


University of Manchester

Primary topic:

Crime & policing

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date