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On Friday the Philadelphia Police Department made an announcement that they would be putting an end to an emergency COVID-19 arrest policy. Under the emergency policy criminal who committed nonviolent crimes were only taken into police custody to obtain fingerprints and identify them. They were then released and charges could possibly be filed at a later time.
The policy was put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. However the policy resulted in increased burglaries and retail thefts.
“At the time of the change, the department was clear in that the list of offenses was subject to review and revision as conditions continued to evolve. Predictably, conditions have, in fact, evolved in dynamic fashion. Accordingly, we have reviewed our current protocols and have made several adjustments.”
– Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw
The emergency COVID-19 arrest policy will no longer apply to burglary, Theft From Auto, Theft From Person, Stolen Auto, and Retail Theft
When the policy was initially enacted residents and businesses criticized it concerned that it would lead to an increase in crime. Since it went into effect there has been an increase in retail theft.
“People are coming in the store, they’re loading their bag and they’re actually telling us the law, that they’re not gonna get locked up,”
– Sukhvir Thinb
Residents of Philadelphia are relieved that the police will be arresting nonviolent offenders again and holding them accountable for their crimes.
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