After being stuck inside all winter, many people anxiously await the arrival of the warm spring season weather. But, there are some who dread the potential increase in crimes caused by rising temperatures.
Summer Crime Rates Are Higher For Both Property Crimes And Assaults
Summer is supposed to be the best time of the year, but it sure brings out the worst in some people. A recent study found a definite correlation between the season and the crime rate. Researchers found that crime rates are often lower in the fall and winter, while peaking in the summer. Some of the summer crime rate increases were significant.
Law enforcement experts and psychologists offer several explanations.
- Kids are out of school and have time on their hands. This, along with longer days, may result in increased street fights, vandalism, shoplifting and home, garage and car theft.
- People travel more in the summer, and empty houses are a more attractive target. Social media also plays a role, because people share a lot of personal information online: About to board the plane to Rome. Should be a great two weeks! Burglars not only know you're gone. They know how long they can sit around on your couch.
- More opportunity. People are more likely to leave their windows open during hot weather. They're outside more also, so bikes, patio furniture, laptops, and other valuables are often outside and unattended.
- Heat exacerbates hot tempers. People interact more during hot weather and there is evidence that high temperatures increase irritability and aggression. Violent assaults increase during the summer. During a heat wave in Chicago in 2012, 20 people were shot and 3 killed during a three-day period.
- Alcohol consumption. A couple of cold beers may not cool your temper. Alcohol consumption is a key risk factor in violence, and alcohol usage tends to increase in hot weather.
With property crimes, the most important thing to remember is that criminals don't take vacations. They wait for you to take yours and for you to let your guard down.
Always keep your doors locked and don't leave valuables outside. It only takes seconds for a passerby to grab your unattended laptop off the porch or a bike from the front yard.
Secure your home when you're away too. Keep your vacation and travel plans quiet. Ask a friend or neighbor to keep an eye on your house, collect the mail, and keep the grass cut. Always be aware of your surroundings and don't leave valuables outside where they can easily be stolen; and never hesitate to call 911 if you observe anything suspicious.