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SCPD looks at crime rates amid COVID-19 pandemic

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SIOUX CITY (KTIV)- The coronavirus, and "social distancing", is keeping many people indoors and potentially out of trouble. That's evident through recent crime reports from the Sioux City Police Department.

With businesses closed and fewer people driving, police say arrests have gone down in certain areas.

"We are seeing a significant decrease in OWIs," said Sgt. Jeremy McClure. "In February we had 52 OWI arrests. This month, we only had 24 OWI arrests and we only had 5 in the last 2 weeks. So we're seeing less drivers out driving impaired."

People, who are abiding by state-directed health measures, are in turn, deterring criminals.

"We're also seeing a significant decrease in residential burglaries because everyone's home most of the time, so less homes are getting broken into," adds McClure.

McClure says while it is encouraging that some crime has gone down, he says certain crimes have actually increased.

"We are responding to more disturbance calls," said McClure. "We responded to 50 more disturbance calls than we did last month. And we're also seeing an increase in business burglaries during the quarantine."

While there is no legal penalty if you do not abide by the directed health measures, officers want to remind everyone about the importance of staying home and off the streets.

"We just want people to abide by the guidelines so that we can get through this a lot faster," said McClure.

Pandemic or not, the police department continues to do its best to keep Sioux City safe.

"Officers are still out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week," adds McClure. "We're there, resolutely, ready to respond to an emergency."

SCPD encourages people to look out for one another in their neighborhoods, and businesses. And to call 911 if you see anything suspicious.

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Jennifer Lenzini

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