Reported crime across the ACT plummeted in the past three months as people stayed home, new COVID-19 infection numbers fell, and most retail businesses struggled.
In the three months from July to September compared with the same period last year, all major crime types declined over the territory's eight police patrol zones.
Across all 12 crime types listed on the ACT Policing website, excluding traffic infringements, there was a 24.5 per cent decline for the three-monthly period, compared with July to September 2019.
Slowly trending back up in the past two months since a notable dip at the height of the COVID-19 restrictions were burglaries. There were 159 burglaries reported across the ACT in September, the highest since April and fed by a recent spike in brazen smash-and grab attacks on small retailers and business.
Across the patrol zones, the biggest area decline for the reporting period was in Tuggeranong, where all offences except those that were traffic-related fell by 30.6 per cent. The inner north fell by 21.6 per cent, and Belconnen by 17.6 per cent.
The inner north patrol zone includes the city and Braddon areas, where most bars and nightclubs have been either closed or operating under much-reduced patronage since early April.
However, in contrast the inner south had very little change to its crime numbers, with just two offences less reported to police. The types of crime which contributed to the inner south's poor numbers were those police call "other offences", relating to weapons, drugs, breaches of public order, deception and driving offences.
Some traffic infringements, such as drink-driving, went against the trend.
Thirty more drivers were charged with drink-driving offences from July to September, compared with the same period in 2019. September had the highest infringement rate with 86 drink-drivers charged, the highest number since June when 89 were apprehended for the same offence.
One of these was a motorcyclist with a learner's licence who was caught drink-driving twice within a two-hour period in Belconnen.
As people worked from home and fewer used the roads during the COVID-19 restrictions, the number of crashes resulting in injury declined from 99 in the 2019 third quarter to 77 over the same period this year. However, two people have died in crashes on ACT roads in the past three months.
Speeding infringements issued were down very slightly from 1013 to 975 as police showed more inclination to issue cautions. In the month of July, police issued more speeding cautions than they had in four years.
Incidents involving all types of family violence reported to police declined by 13.6 per cent however, the number of offenders apprehended in Canberra for such incidents spiked to 57 in August, the highest number since February.
Reported sex assaults showed a significant decline from 159 in June to September last year to 96 this year.
Advocates believe the reporting numbers may be masking the true extent of the sex assault issue, with ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Centre deputy chief executive officer Dearne Weaver advising that isolation, socially restrictions and an inability to access customary social networks disempowers victims.
"We know that when restrictions are in place it becomes more difficult for people to report violence because the person who is presenting risk to them is always present," she said.