Lithuania: Domestic Killings Double During COVID-19
Crime reports in Lithuania have uncovered that domestic killings have doubled during the COVID-19 lockdown in the country.
Rolandas Kiškis, the head of the Lithuanian Criminal Police Bureau said the majority of the killings were related to domestic conflicts and involved the consumption of alcohol.
Police Commissioner General Renatas Požėla reported,
- a total of 22 homicides since the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine on March 16, which is ten cases higher than during the same time period in 2019, and
- crimes linked to domestic violence increased by 10.7% and 16.5%, respectively, compared to spring 2019.
While the police expected a rise in domestic violence, the sharp increase in homicides was an unexpected development.
However, the police report that aggregate level of crime has dropped during the lockdown:
- Cases of disturbing public order, light bodily injuries, currency counterfeiting and use of stolen bank cards fell by more than 40%,
- The number of thefts decreased by 17%, and
- Road traffic deaths decreased the most since 2017. So far, there have been 47 road fatalities in Lithuania this year, down from 52 over the same period of 2019, 60 in 2018 and 54 in 2017.
Violence linked to alcohol is one reason the World Health Organization (WHO) has advised countries to limit alcohol availability during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measure.