COVID-19 reduces most crime rates in Hargita County

According to the 2020 annual evaluation report of the Hargita (Harghita) County Police Department last year, the overall number of crimes committed in the county decreased versus 2019. But in some categories, like murder and domestic violence, an increase was reported; also, more people lost their lives in road accidents than in the previous year.

A shortage of staff has also been a problem in the Hargita County Police Department for years, and it wasn’t solved in 2020 either. Only 74 percent (662) of the 897 positions were filled, 7 percent less than in 2019. The average age of police officers is 35.2 years.

6.8 percent decrease in the overall crime rate

Overall, 4,770 crimes were committed in the county, which shows a 6.8 percent decrease versus 2019. Thanks to this,

the county crime rate is way below the country average: In Romania overall, there were 2,178 reported crimes per 100,000 people, while this number was 1,431 in Hargita County.

Meanwhile, the number of crimes against individuals decreased by 12 percent; last year 1,938 such cases happened, 264 less than in 2019. But in some categories of violent intentional crimes, an increase was recorded. Last year, four murders happened in Hargita County (versus two in 2019), violence against minors happened twelve times (11 in 2019), and 440 domestic violence cases were reported (407 in 2019).

The number of crimes against property was 1,565, a 5.27 percent decrease compared to the previous year and also the lowest number in the last eight years.

Penalties imposed in 10,000 cases for breaking the pandemic emergency measures

The economic crime rate decreased as well, with 263 such cases reported last year, compared to 330 in 2019.

In Hargita County, there were on average 132 police officers, 42 gendarmes and 23 local police officers ensuring daily that people were complying with the emergency measures aimed at curbing the coronavirus spread. Last year, 13 crimes were identified in relation to the pandemic, while financial penalties were imposed 9,936 times for a total value of RON 1,462,945 (EUR 300,000).

Crimes committed on the streets increased by 11 percent in 2020; even though the number of shoplifting and pocket-picking cases decreased, vehicle-related crimes increased. While in 2019, no car-parts thefts were reported, there were 12 such cases last year.

22 people lost their lives on the roads of Hargita County in 2020. (Photo: Attila Pinti/szekelyhon.ro)

More casualties in road accidents 

In the case of road accidents, a decrease can be seen in most categories. The number of serious accidents last year in the county was 132 (33 less than in 2019), while the number of minor accidents was 273 (18 less than in 2019). Despite the number of injuries decreasing in both categories, in the case of serious accidents, the number of fatal injuries increased:

Last year 22 people lost their lives in road accidents in Hargita County, which is three more than in the previous year.

In most cases, the serious accidents were caused by offenses committed by cyclists. A total of 24 such serious accidents happened, in which 22 people suffered serious injuries and three of them lost their lives. (szekelyhon.ro)


Title image is an illustration (Photo: Vince Haáz/szekelyhon.ro)

Author: Attila Szoó