Summer is hands down the best time of the year! But it could also be the most dangerous season of all. Several studies have been conducted to see if the claims that extreme weather increases the risk of criminal activity are valid. These researches have shed light on how temperature affects the prevalence of specific crimes. A new study revealed that U.S. crime rates, including violent crime numbers, see a spike in July and August.

The hotter it gets, the more crime rates go up

A study from Finland used nearly two decades of data to find a potential link between ambient temperature and crime rates. Researchers found that a 1.7 percent increase in criminal activity was linked to an increase in the average temperature. According to the study, increased serotonin levels are likely related to the rise in impulsive tendencies and a higher probability of crime.

A subsequent investigation of crime and temperature data from 11 major U.S. cities confirmed the conclusions of the Finland study. According to the research, the number of shooting victims increased in nine out of 10 cities when temperatures rose. Additional information provided by the city of Philadelphia reveals that the spike in crime is primarily due to outdoor incidences, with the frequency of indoor gunshots remaining unchanged despite drastic temperature fluctuations.

Crimes that are likely to occur on hot days

Chicago, a big American metropolis, sheds more light on the impact of weather and temperature on crime rates. According to the police crime data from the City of Chicago Data Portal, certain types of crime tend to be more weather-dependent during the annual summer crime peak. Theft, gunshots, and other crimes had the highest increase when temperatures rose, with nine more instances for every 10-degree increase in temperature.

Other types of crime, such as assault and criminal damage, are also linked to the weather, but to a lesser extent. Weather fluctuations substantially impact burglary, narcotics, and homicide, narrowing the association of temperature to certain types of crime.

Not all weather conditions increase crime rates

Several studies worldwide have validated this tendency of violent crimes to increase with the temperature. Still, it appears to be the only weather condition that correlates with increased crime. On the hottest days, data obtained in Tshwane, South Africa, revealed significantly higher violent, sexual, and property crimes rates. Violent crimes, in particular, increased by 50% compared to the city’s coldest days. Rainfall had a far more negligible impact on crime rates, with a 2% increase in property crimes and a drop in violent and sexual offenses.

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