Coronavirus latest news: Deaths in UK rise by 917 as Priti Patel leads Downing Street briefing

Even among regions that have the highest levels of violence outside a war zone, fewer people are being killed and fewer robberies are taking place.

Across Latin America, crime is down to levels unseen in decades.

El Salvador reported an average of two killings a day last month, down from a peak of 600 a day a few years ago.

In Peru, where crime levels fell 84 per cent last month, Lima mortician Raul Gonzalez usually has as many as 15 bodies a day – many are homicide victims. This week he napped on a bench after six hours without a client.

In South Africa, Police Minister Bheki Cele said reported rapes were down from 700 to 101; serious assault cases plummeted from 2,673 to 456; and murders fell from 326 to 94.

But while narcotics arrests are down, drug sales continue, with dealers likely forced to change their strategies, said Rodney Phillips, a former gang member in Chicago who now works as a conflict mediator in the city.

“These guys already face poverty and death in these areas,” he said. “They might be selling more online now. But they aren’t going to give up just because of the¬†coronavirus.”