The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department has released its year end report for crime, and, while there is some good news, two disturbing trends are a rise in violent crime and a big jump in robbery. 

The report covers unincorporated Guilford County and the towns patrolled by the Sheriff’s Department. The statistics are included in a year-end report for 2020 from the Sheriff’s Department.

 The report stated that there was a 19 percent increase in violent crimes. The year of 2020 was a highly unusual one, due to the response to the coronavirus pandemic which resulted in numerous lockdowns and stay at home orders.  Mental health officials across the country have said that those conditions lead to more people being on the emotional edge which can result in violence. 

With everyone at home much of the time in 2020, property crimes were down.  There was a decrease of about 9 percent in property crimes which include burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson.

However, with the economy in bad shape and many people out of work, many more people were robbed.  There was a  50 percent increase in robberies in the unincorporated county and the small towns that don’t have their own police departments and depend on the Sheriff’s Department for law enforcement.

Of particular concern in 2020, homicides increased 67 percent.  It’s no secret that this is a major problem in the counties two largest cities as well.  Greensboro set an all time record for homicides in 2020 with 61.

Aggravated Assaults were up 15 percent last year, while rape was down by 11 percent.,

Drugs are proving to be popular during a pandemic. Drug-related arrests rose by 26 percent.

Weapons arrests were up too, 57 percent.

According to the report, in 2020, the Sheriff’s Department’s average response time was 12 minutes and 35 seconds.