Could the coronavirus fears be decreasing Memphis crime rates?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — New data shows there’s been a decrease in violent crimes throughout the city of Memphis recently.

It’s not directly linked to fears of the coronavirus, but there may be some correlation.

FOX13’s Tony Sloan found out more details on these numbers.

The possibility is that the city could cut half the number of violent crimes that have happened since late last month compared to the month before.

When we showed the numbers to people in the community, they said its kind of bittersweet.

“It’s kind of crazy,” said Jerry Rosser. “It’s a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing that crime is going down.”

Rosser said he’s noticed since the first case of the coronavirus in Shelby County, there’s been less crime in the area.

He said he believes it’s due to families trying to figure out what will happen next as a result of the coronavirus.

“There are no schools and you have a lot of jobs shutting down,” he said. “People are looking at how they’re going get paid, cover their bills and maintain feeding themselves.”

“Due to lack of contact with everybody being together, so I guess bittersweet would be a good way to describe it,” said Pratt Rodgers.

According to city data, in the two weeks since Feb. 28, there have been 243 violent crimes like assault, homicide, and robbery with still two weeks left to fully calculate the month.

To put that in perspective, Jan. 28 to Feb. 28, there were 611 violent crimes.

“Crime may go down now if it gets worse, but I think it’s going to go up exponentially,” Rosser said.

Others said they think it’s a good time to together to limit the spread of the coronavirus and hopefully continue to lower those numbers.

“We’ve seen Memphis rated as the #2 city in donations and community involvement,” Rosser said. “Hopefully that will continue to be a big push from what we’ve seen on the crime side.”