In Chicago, one of the most violent places in the US, drug arrests in the weeks since the city shut down are down by 42% compared with the same period last year.
Some criminal lawyers say part of the reason for that decrease is that dealers have no choice but to wait out the economic slump.
“The feedback I’m getting is that they aren’t able to move, to sell anything anywhere,” said Joseph Lopez, a lawyer in Chicago who represents reputed drug dealers.
Overall, Chicago’s crime declined by 10% after the pandemic struck, a trend that is playing out globally. Fewer people are being killed and fewer robberies are taking place.