Crime: How Weather Can Turn It Up a Notch

There are many factors involved in the statistics of crime related scenarios. The economical downfall, for instance, has considerably affected crime as a result of sheer desperation. Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring and austerity measures brought upon already struggling families has pushed many people over the edge. If it weren’t for the ‘dumbing down’ with digital as well as reality television distractions, Americans would surely have risen up by now. However, there is another theory that has often been considered regarding the effects on crime and that is the influence of weather.

80+

Like most people, criminals do not want to get out of bed on a cold, rainy day to commit a crime. They would rather drink and drug or hide under their corporate desk until it clears up. However, when the day begins to shine and the skirts rise higher, crime has a tendency to rear its ugly head. According to a paper published in The British Journal of Criminology by Ellen G. Cohn, crime could be considerably affected when the temperature rises above 80 degrees. This was determined after a study was implemented as a result of a series of anti-war riots in the 1960’s stating that, “…the United States Riot Commission (1968) published a report showing that the majority of riots in 1967 began on days when the temperature was over 80°F.” In addition, higher temperatures, especially above 90 degrees can create a ‘tinder box’ effect especially when it comes to domestic violence. J.L. LeBeau, author of  the paper, ‘The Linkages among Discretionary and Obligatory Routine Activities, Heat Stress and Police Calls to Domestic Assaults’,  reported that, “the temperature-humidity discomfort index significantly predicted domestic assault calls over a six-month period in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

Causes: Sheep and Wolves

There is no surprise here as it simply comes down to opportunity. On cold, dreary days ‘the sheep’ (common folk just getting through their day) tend to stay out of popularly inhabited areas such as malls, sports arenas, parks and the like. More sheep beget more wolves (criminals) and as the weather turns for the better, personal interaction escalates and inevitably, a crime opportunity presents itself. Interestingly, there is also the theory of the lone sheep. Although crime is considerably higher on warm days there is the threat upon those individuals that are targeted during inclement weather due to the reduced number of witnesses. Obviously these statistics are lower but once again it is the effect of weather that is capable of changing the criminal playing field.

Prevention

Overall, watching your back regardless of weather is recommended. However, when it is a beautiful day many people let their guard down. This does not mean you have to be in a panic 24/7,  it simply means to stay alert.

Don’t be a crime victim as you enjoy a stroll in the park. Keep a swivel in your neck on your way to your karate class while sharpening your switch blade and making sure you have enough ammo in your handgun and you’ll be fine.

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