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Sri Lanka expects steep fall in crime rate over Coronavirus curfews

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka is expecting a steep fall in crime during nation-wide lockdown style curfews imposed to stop the spread of Coronavirus, an official said though official statistics are not yet available for comparison.

“I cannot tell you without comparing the statistics but we think there is a decrease in crime rates during the curfew period we have island wide,” Police spokesman Superintendent Jaliya Senaratne said.

Sri Lanka started work-at-home holidays after stopping all incoming foreign arrivals on March 19 and slapped curfews to stop contact between people and flush out any infected persons.

At least one infected person, who attempted to burgle a house was captured by residents.

However there are anecdotal reports are there of hungry people plucking coconuts and other fruits generally referred to in Sri Lankan parlance as ‘golaa horu’ or rogues who pluck unripe arecanuts in their haste.

Sri Lanka’s Navy has also nabbed drug runners in the middle of the Coronavirus crisis.

In many countries of the world domestic abuse hotlines have been overwhelmed with women and girls reporting abuse.

In Sri Lanka police are responding to crimes.

Senaratne said the latest data was not available but police were concerned that due to the curfew women may be finding it difficult to come to the police station to lodge complaints as they usually do.

In Sri Lanka at most police stations there is a separate section that deals with women, children, domestic cases and dispute.

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UN chief António Guterres has called for measures to address a “horrifying global surge in domestic violence” directed towards women and girls, linked to lockdowns imposed by governments responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UN said in many countries shelters were closed, and helplines understaffed during curfews.

(Colombo/Apr13/2020)

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