According to Fox News, in the 28 days since New York went under lockdown, the NYPD has seen a spike in murders. Some might irresponsibly attribute this, along with the increase in domestic violence and assault offenses, to the decision to release some inmates from prison early (to protect them from becoming infected with COVID-19). However, many factors might play a part in the fluctuation of New York's crime rates, and otherwise law-abiding citizens might find themselves a part of those statistics.
Loss of Normal Way of Life
We are living in unprecedented times, and our lives have changed in numerous ways. Many state governments, New York included, have implemented issued stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. The orders, along with social distancing guidelines, have left people stuck at home and unable to do the things that bring them joy.
In the time of the coronavirus, walking around outside; socializing with friends, family, and even strangers; or going to the movies or a cafe are all dangerous. The things people loved to do have been ripped from their lives, and choice has been taken away from them. The psychological impacts of this forced isolation are substantial and may cause people to engage in behaviors (some of which may be criminal) that are out of character for them.
Increased Interactions with Family Members and Neighbors
People are now spending 24 hours a day with individuals they used to see for only one or two hours. Constant interactions in close quarters, especially apartments that are often too small for the number of people living in them, can lead to increased conflict and more arguments. When discussions escalate, they can turn into physical altercations.
A person could find themselves charged with assault, a domestic violence offense, or even murder because they are following stay-at-home orders. Now, they face years to life in jail/prison as a result of the pressures and stresses mounting during the pandemic.
Uncertainty Concerning Jobs and Income
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have shuttered their doors, leaving people out of work. Even those businesses that have managed to remain open during the statewide shutdowns have struggled, and many people may be worried about losing their jobs.
To add to that, just recently, Governor Cuomo said that New York state might not have the money to fund unemployment and may seek a loan from the federal government. Now, people might be wondering how they're going to pay their rent, car lease, or mortgage. How will they get the goods and services they need if they can't earn a wage or get the benefits to pay for them?
The uncertainty about income can lead to desperation, which can often lead to criminal activity.
Sadly, the current crisis has created an environment that has people acting outside of their norm and finding themselves caught up in crimes.
If you've been accused of a domestic violence, assault, or other offense in New York City or the surrounding areas, call Cohen Forman Barone at (212) 577-9314 or submit an online contact form. We're ready to fight for you.