Police calls drop 20 per cent during pandemic, Saskatoon’s chief says

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A steep drop in police calls in Saskatoon has emerged as one positive from the COVID-19 pandemic, Chief Troy Cooper says

Cooper told an online news conference Tuesday that calls that required police to be dispatched to a scene have dropped by nearly 20 per cent between March 11 and Saturday compared to the same period last year.

That includes an eight per cent drop in calls about violent crime and a 27 per cent drop in calls about property crime, including fraud.

“That is a great news story,” Cooper told reporters. “It’s really understandable. People were less likely to be out and about. There’s less traffic on the road, less businesses open. So there’d be less demands for our service.”

But calls involving domestic violence have increased by 21 per cent during the pandemic, amounting to about 30 more calls a week.

Cooper noted the rise in domestic violence is a trend that is being witnessed globally during the pandemic with people told to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.