Is Heat the Cause of Crime?

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Is Heat the Cause of Crime?

Many people argue that when the heat goes up, the crime rates go up. From recent research, studies have shown that there is some truth to that statement. However, there is a lot more to it.

Brandon Keim, a science reporter for the magazine, Wired, offers some explanations as to why heat correlates with crime rates. His view on the matter is that, “Yes, crime does go up with heat, but only to a certain point.” He offers two possible explanations as to why this is true.

  • A psychological explanation that: Heat makes us more prone to violence. Stress related to heat can cause us to become agitated faster.
  • A sociological explanation that: Nicer weather typically encourages people to go outside and enjoy it, usually socializing and drinking, which in turn can result in making assaults “mathematically” more likely to occur.

Keim goes to further explain that it’s really a matter of cause and effect. When it’s warm, people go outside and interact. If it gets too hot, then people typically migrate back indoors to avoid the heat and essentially don’t do any harm. The other situation is reaching a point of discomfort which induces the tendencies for aggression and escape.

Crime Stats vs Heat Stats**

By State

1. Tennessee

  • Beyond being among the top 10 states for robberies and murders, it was first for aggravated assaults; Most of the crime is concentrated in the major metropolitan areas—Memphis and Nashville most notably
  • Correlation to weather: Possibly. On average, summer months have high temps in the 90s, where its metro areas such as Memphis and Nashville reaching high temps over 100s.

2.  Nevada
3.  Alaska
4.  New Mexico
5.  South Carolina
6.  Delaware
7.  Louisiana
8.  Florida
9.  Maryland
10.  Oklahoma

By City
1.  Camden, NJ

  • The city is reportedly home to extreme concerns with homelessness, poverty, and drugs.
  • Correlation to weather: Not likely. Though humidity could be a valid argument, chances are the city’s high temps in the 80s is not likely going to effect the crime rates as much as the sociological and economical issues at hand.

2.  Flint, MI
3.  Detroit, MI
4.  Oakland, CA
5.  St. Louis, MO
6.  Cleveland, OH
7.  Gary, IN
8.  Newark, NJ
9.  Bridgeport, CT
10.  Birmingham, AL

Honorable Mention: Chicago, IL deemed 2012’s Murder Capital; might not be Top 10, but definitely still considered a “dangerous city.”

**These statistics are reported as of 2014, according to the FBI data collection.

The Heat & You: Ways You Can Deter Crime

  • Be aware of your own response to heat. Understand what your limits are to heat and how you react when you become overly heated.
  • Be aware of others and your surroundings. If you hang around the same group of people, then you’re bound to pick up on when they’ve reached their limits such as when they’ve had enough sun, enough to drink, how they react around others, etc.
  • Remove yourself from dangerous situations or environments. If you’re living in a city, state or are simply in a situation where things have become heated, remove yourself from it. Especially when it comes to your own home, you should never feel threatened.
  • Talk to your local locksmith about other solutions to protecting your home, business or car from crimes that might take place in or around your community. Taking proper precautions to protecting yourself and your property are important to your safety.

Further Assistance From Local Locksmiths!

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