Tri Indah Oktavianti, Jakarta – Indonesia saw a spike in crime in the first two weeks of June as large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) were eased, the National Police reported on Tuesday.
National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Awi Setiyono said that from June 1 to 7, 441 cases of theft were recorded. The following week, 693 cases of theft were recorded, a 68 percent increase.
Fraud cases increased 42 percent over the same period, from 295 cases in the first week of June to 421 cases in the following week.
The number of vehicle thefts almost doubled to 226 during the same period.
Drug-related crimes increased to 743 from 649 cases in the first week of June.
"Meanwhile, gambling activities have increased 100 percent, from a total of 52 cases recorded in the first week of June to 104 cases in the following week," Awi said in a written statement on Tuesday.
"What has likely caused the surge in crime is the transition to the new normal, in which residents' activities have increased," he said.
"Criminals use it as opportunity to break the law."
During the first month of the COVID-19 partial lockdown in March, the National Police reported a significant drop in the crime rate.
With fewer people on the streets, felonies, misdemeanors and public disturbances all decreased significantly.
However, crime rebounded in the last week of May with a total of 3,177 criminal cases recorded, an increase of 442 cases from the previous week. Some conjecture that this was caused by the financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, which all but extinguished economic activity.
As of Tuesday, Indonesia was inching closer to its neighbor, Singapore, which has highest number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in Southeast Asia with 40,400 cases.