Could there actually be a link between temperatures and crime rates?

Post date: Feb 23, 2015 11:50:59 PM

This NBC article seems to think so. Crime could range from small misdemeanors, like theft of a pair of gloves, to large federal crimes, like murder, grand theft auto, etc. For example, the article has this shocking fact, "New York celebrated 12 consecutive days without a murder -- the longest stretch since the NYPD started keeping records in 1994." To me, this is startling. It's also been a topic among researchers. This article talks to one, who has recently published a journal article, and he along with many other researchers within this field are interested at this link. The threshold temperature where the crime rates in all categories of crime begin to drop around 50. This continues downward until about -10, which is where the rate in grand theft auto rises again. I'd assume this is so because it's people trying to find warmth on an extremely cold night. All of these researchers look at how crime rates will change with the rising temperatures globally. Almost all crimes are expected to rise when the temperatures rise as well. On the contrary, the article says that crime rates have absolutely no correlation with temperatures, but with seasons. The article provides the example of summer, and how students are off.

Personally, I'd agree with the NBC article. Back home, I watch the news with my mom after she gets home from work. During the winter, there seems to be a lot less general crime stories. In the summer, it seems like out of the top 5 stories, 3 or 4 are about shootings on the south side of Chicago or the deaths of either innocent bystanders or targets or shooters within these shootings. However, on the seasons part of it, I'd completely disagree. Most of the shootings back home are gang related and those participants drop out of school to become a full time member. These members do not just go back to school once the months of August or September; these members continue to be on the street, plotting numerous scenarios of how to take out rival gang members. I think that it is somewhat based on temperatures and when people are outside. A majority of the murders in Chicago are those of innocents being at the wrong place at the wrong time and they are mistaken for someone else.

Here's a link to the article: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/does-cold-stop-crime-it-seems-so-n309856