Serious crimes in the state fell by 5% in 2020. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released its annual crime report, and law enforcement authorities say the pandemic is responsible for much of the downturn.
Drunk driving arrests dropped across the state by about 7%. The TBI says that’s probably because fewer people were on the roads for at least part of the year. DUIs have also been on a three-year decline.
The fewest crimes of all types were reported in March and April, when most people were staying home. But that also meant workplaces, schools, houses of worship and community centers were shut down, and that’s where many crimes — like abuse — are first detected, the TBI says.
The biggest drop was in crime committed by juveniles in Tennessee — down by more than a third last year.
A total of 682 murders were reported across the state in this year’s report. The figure was 518 last year, an increase of just over 30%.