DELTA TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Violent crimes in Delta Township jumped by 15 percent in 2020. Eaton County Sheriff Thomas Reich says it has a lot to do with the pandemic.
"People were at home a lot. So, I think tensions rose quite a bit, and I think that's why you see the uptick in violent crimes," Reich said.
The biggest increase in violent crimes was assault, which includes domestic violencl. There were 302 cases in 2019 and 378 in 2020, a 25 percent increase.
Joy Whitenburg, the director of resource development at End Violent Encounters, a domestic violence shelter, said they expected there would be an increase in domestic violence.
"Anytime where the normal status quo of things is upset, and people are spending more time at home, more time in their family units, basically anytime that an abusive person has more access to the person that they're abusing, we will see a sharp rise," Whitenburg said.
Non-violent crimes in Delta Township decreased by almost 8 percent. With stores closed, there wasn't as much retail fraud. The pandemic also led to fewer cases of breaking and entering.
"A criminal is not going to hit a home when people are home. So, I think that's why you see a downslide in that last year. So, one goes up. One goes down," Reich said.
Reich thinks violent crimes will go down as the pandemic eases but said we probably won't see the decrease right away.
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