New stay at home local ordinance could affect crime

Local News

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The latest in a string of new regulations and rules in an effort to fight Coronavirus, Mayor Tecklenburg has issued an ordinance requiring most people to stay home. No one in Charleston will be able to leave their home except for what are deemed essential tasks like going to the grocery store, pharmacy or to exercise while practicing social distancing.

This new rule could affect more than just businesses and social lives. Police are saying that they are having to adjust as well.

With many places closing up shop for potentially quite a while, police say they are working with owners to make sure their buildings won’t be vulnerable to criminals.

Charleston Police Chief Luther Reynolds says his officers have not seen any peaks in burglaries or break-ins yet, but says he is taking precautions now to make sure that there is no increase in crime in the coming weeks.

“I have talked to my counterparts in other parts of the country and other states, and I will tell you they have seen some decreases in, let’s just say, daytime burglaries because everybody is at home, right, but increases in private businesses and break-ins, vandalism, things like that at night time, because those businesses which are normally open are now closed.”  

Chief Luther Reynolds, Charleston Police Department

Besides theft and vandalism, quarantine could also have a negative impact on home life. Social workers tell me, being stuck at home with an abuser is a reality for some in the Lowcountry.

“Domestic violence is all about power and control. So right now, it forces the abusers to have more control over the victims because have to stay home, because of the quarantine. And there is a lot of tension, because people may have lost their jobs, which can create a more violent environment.” 

Armand Fraile, Family Violence Intervention Director, Origin SC

If you ever find yourself in an abusive or violent situation, you are urged to call 911. The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available 24/7 and can be reached at 1-800-799-7233.

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