LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore said Monday that crime in the city had decreased by 23 percent this March compared to last year as Angelenos followed the mayor’s Safer at Home order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Moore said the city saw reductions in crime in nearly every category except auto theft, which saw a slight increase.

“People staying at home in their neighborhoods, watching out for each other and exercising social distancing is allowing us to have a safer city,” Moore said.

Even reported family violence, which many worried might increase as families spent more time in close quarters, decreased by 11 percent, Moore said.

“We recognize that in times of stress and times of turmoil, that family violence can increase,” Moore said.

Moore said that the department would be reaching out this week to local hotlines that handle family violence to see if they were seeing increases in call volumes following the stay at home order.

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“We want to remind every victim, every survivor of family violence, that we have a place for you, that we have a place for you, you do not have to be home, you do not have to be secluded or isolated with someone who is committing violence upon you,” Moore said.

Traffic incidents have also decreased, including collisions, hit-and-runs, DUI-related collisions and pedestrian collisions, Moore said, though he noted law enforcement has seen an increase in speed-related violations due to the lack of traffic.

Crime reduction “is the one area of benefit, if you will, from this terrible virus, this terrible infliction of injury and pain in our society,” Moore said.

Moore also said that only 37 non-essential businesses throughout the city of Los Angeles have been referred to the city attorney’s office for prosecution.

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