WINDSOR, ONT. -- Violent crimes in Windsor increased in 2020, while overall crime declined, according to new statistics revealed by Windsor police.

Officials said Thursday that the increase was somewhat expected, given the circumstances and challenges surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think the numbers are probably not that big of a surprise with the pandemic,” said Amherstburg Mayor and WPS Board Vice-Chair Aldo DiCarlo.

Violent crimes increased by 15.8 per cent in 2020 compared to 2019.

“Personal violence, the violence between people who know each other, people in families, again I think that was expected,” DiCarlo says.“With people, I don’t want to say trapped, but let’s just say with everybody at home, I guess those things could probably be expected.”

Overall crime within Windsor and Amherstburg went down 13.6 per cent according to the latest annual Windsor Police Service year-end crime statistics. The report outlines how many criminal code violations occurred last year, along with previous years’ statistics dating back to 2002.

In all, there were 2,858 incidents of violent crime reported last year. An increase of 390 cases compared to the year before.

There were three homicides in 2020, down two from the previous year and three attempted murder cases, down from six from 2019.

The categories showing the biggest increases were domestic assaults, assaults against non-family members and criminal harassment.

However, assault against police officers saw a decrease of 45 per cent, with just 25 occurrences reported in 2020, while arson stats also dropped more than 17 per cent with 25 incidents reported last year