The FBI is warning local law enforcement agencies across the country to be prepared for an increase in crime as the summer approaches and more people get vaccinated for COVID-19.
According to Fox News, crime rates have risen in cities since the beginning of the pandemic, a trend that may get exacerbated by the influx of vaccinated people pouring into the streets.
“The FBI is warning local and other federal law enforcement to be on the lookout for potential increases in violence heading into the warmer months. As more people are free to move about and socialize, crime of all different levels may certainly increase,” a senior law enforcement official told Fox News.
The FBI would not comment on the specific intelligence report, but did send a warning to the public.
“The FBI shares information about potential threats to enhance the ability of law enforcement agencies to better protect the communities they serve, As always, we urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the nearest law enforcement agency,” the agency said.
In major cities across the country, homicides have risen sharply, and alarmingly often involve teens. In the capitol, two teenage girls – ages 13 and 15 – murdered an Uber Eats driver during an attempted carjacking, while a shooting claimed the lives of two others.
In addition, 16-year-old in Chicago was apprehended for using a knife in an attempted carjacking.
Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo told Fox News earlier this month that pandemic lockdowns may have had a large impact on the rise of youth crime. “You know, idle minds are the devil’s playground. And a lot of these kids, they’ve been idle for a year-and-a-half now without going to school. And that’s been a big problem,” he said.
In New York City, murders are slightly higher than the same time last year, with 106 this year over last year’s 100. Shootings are up 64% according to the NYPD, with an additional 492 gun-related arrests.
Los Angeles also saw a 30% spike in murders from last year with 97, and an increase in aggravated assault crimes.
An Arnold Ventures report examining year-end crime statistics during the pandemic found that homicides in 2020 increased by 30% over the previous year across a sample of 34 cities. The report found that homicide rates tended to increase as pandemic-related restrictions decreased.
Now, this FBI report coincides with nearly half of US adults – 130 million –receiving at least one of the COVID-19 vaccine doses. With social unrest and protests, and now the opening up of the country, law enforcement is staying vigilant.