Is Violent Crime Worse In The Summer?

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Is Violent Crime Worse In The Summer?

The Old Wives’ Tale—that hot weather makes people irritable and more likely to commit a crime—may just have some validity. In 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice gathered nationwide research and published a report in which they tracked seasonal criminal victimization trends for various violent crimes committed between the years 1993-2010. You can read the full report for their methodology, but what they found directly correlated both higher levels of violent crime and household property crimes to the summer months. At Todd Coolidge Law Firm in Chandler, AZ, our expertise is defending you in the case you are convicted of a crime, but we are also here to encourage everyone to take care of yourselves and your homes, so that you do not become a victim of a crime.

Why Might Violent Crime Be Higher In Summer?

Several studies have been done attempting to answer the question, “Does Excessive Heat Increase Violence?” The answer to this question is both one of science and data as well as a good bit of speculation. One such study was a paper written by University of Iowa professor Craig Anderson entitled “Heat and Violence.” In his paper, Anderson states that “Hot temperatures increase aggression by directly increasing feelings of hostility, and indirectly increasing aggressive thoughts.”  

Here are some possible reasons for increased crime in Summer months:

  • In addition to Craig Anderson, even William Shakespeare commented that warmer weather seems to directly increase aggression and therefore, feelings of hostility, which can lead to higher levels of aggravated crime.
  • Some people reason that longer summer days cause people to spend more time away from their houses, which leaves their homes at risk for burglary or theft. On the opposite end of the spectrum, in the winter, especially in colder climates, people often remain indoors—including criminals.
  • In certain parts of the country, warmer weather means open windows and doors as people welcome the change in season. This ”easy access” also leaves homes and personal property at higher risk of vandalism or theft.
  • There is also the theory that with summer vacation, masses of children home from school have little to do, creating opportunity for them to get into mischief.

While there may be real data to show an increase in crime in the summer, the speculations as to the why, can be helpful when it comes to crime prevention.

Ways to Take Care During the Summer Months

Todd Coolidge Law Firm in Chandler, AZ, has a few simple recommendations to decrease the likelihood that you might fall victim to a violent crime or a household property crime this summer.

  • Always lock your windows and doors.
  • Don’t leave your personal possessions outside and unattended.
  • If you are away from home for certain lengths of time during summer vacation, ask a trusted family member, friend, or neighbor to keep a watchful eye on your home. And consider putting timers on your lights in order to give the appearance of being at home.
  • Consider not posting on social media that your entire family will be away on vacation.
  • As for your car: lock your car doors, roll up the windows, and don’t leave valuable possessions laying in direct sight.
  • Increase your mindfulness and awareness when you are out and about, whether at home or on vacation.

At Todd Coolidge Law Firm in Chandler, AZ, we mention these statistics and precautions, not to scare you, but because we care about your wellbeing. We’ve been serving the community for over 25 years; your safety is important to us!


Photo by Shopify Partners from Burst (6/14/2018)