The COVID-19 effect: Crime in McAllen hits record low in 2020

2 years 8 months 10 hours ago Saturday, January 23 2021 Jan 23, 2021 January 23, 2021 3:03 PM January 23, 2021 in News

Crime in McAllen is down to a 36-year low--and the police department says COVID-19 protocols had a lot to do with it. 

Last year, police in McAllen got 20,000 fewer calls for service and fewer calls to respond to. The last 11 months of not going out as much, staying out of bars, off the road and out of stores made its mark on 2020. Thefts, disturbances, violence and traffic accidents in McAllen are at a low. 

"We recognize that 2020 will forever be marked with an asterisk, and that is the COVID-19 year," said McAllen Police Chief Victor Rodriguez. 

Stats show violent crime is down 12 percent, property crime is down 22 percent and there were 821 fewer offenses than in 2019. 

"At McAllen, typically we have an accident every hour, 24/7, 365," Rodriguez said. "So we have over 8,000 accidents a year. We had 31 percent less last year. That is significant and it's also an indicator of the lessened activity that came about because of COVID-19."

Numbers show a lot of categories went down significantly, but others crimes went up, including 21 more car thefts and 10 additional rape offenses.

Rodriguez says some categories fluctuate year after year, and some unreported crimes from 2020 may be reported in the future.

For example, some rape reports are from previous years. 

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