SASKATOON -- Saskatoon Police Chief Troy Cooper says since the beginning of COVID-19 restrictions on March 11 calls for service have gone down by almost 20 per cent.

Police have to take extra COVID-19 precautions when responding so each call can take longer, especially when officers have to decontaminate because of potential COVID-19 risks, he said.

The chief is thanking the public for the decrease in calls as more people have been staying home.

He does however say domestic violence calls have gone up by 21 per cent compared to last year.

Calls for violent crimes have dropped eight per cent.