When coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was spreading worldwide, many national and local governments started to impose socially restrictive measures to limit the spread of the virus. Such quarantine measures in different cities worldwide have brought a new trend in public safety improvement and crime reduction. Using daily crime reports in the U.S., this paper evaluates the immediate unintended effects of shelter-in-place orders on different crime categories using fine-grained spatial units (i.e., neighborhoods) rather than entire cities, states, or countries. Results for San Francisco suggest an immediate drop of between 10 and 20% points in the total number of crimes after one month from the introduction of the restrictions. In particular, we show that while theft, homicide, and traffic accidents have fallen sharply, domestic violence incidents and weapon possession offences were not affected by the lockdown. The results are robust to the inclusion of spatial and temporal dependence.
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