Summertime in Kentucky is supposed to be a time to relax, take a boat on the lake, watch the kids play baseball. For many people, it is. With school out and the temperatures rising, it’s a more laid-back time than when school is in, or when the holidays are approaching and we tend to stay inside and brace against the cold. But, statistically, summer is also a time when we see increased criminal activity, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ); specifically, burglaries and robberies spike by roughly 10.5 percent.
Vivint, a home security company, states that there are several reasons for the uptick. A few of the contributing factors include:
- Weather – Like most people, criminals prefer warm weather to cold weather. When it is below zero, most criminals will stay indoors. However, when the temperature is comfortable and the daylight hours are longer, criminals are more likely to be outside, just like everyone else. As a result, more crimes occur when the thermometer inches upwards.
- Windows – When the weather becomes warm, most people try to keep their homes cool. As a result, if they decide not to use central air, windows are open; at times window air conditioning units hold windows open, allowing easier access for burglars and other criminals.
- Vacation –For many people, summer is the time for vacation, whether it be a month-long trip overseas or a simple weekend at the lake. As a result, criminals scope out neighborhoods looking for evidence that homeowners are not there. Robbing a home is much easier without the owners in town.
- Irritability – Studies have shown that extremely high temperatures make some individuals irritable, which in some cases may lead to aggressive behavior. Aggressiveness, coupled with more individuals being active and outside, can at times lead to disagreeable, even violent, confrontations.
While property crimes have a sharp increase in the summer months, so do to violent crimes. According to an article by Medical Daily, rape, murder, aggravated assault and larceny also increase. The article cites a report in The Wall Street Journal finding that the worst month for murder in New York City is July. And while heat may play a factor, Medical Daily also cites James Alan Fox, a professor in criminology at Northeastern University, who suggests it may not be simply heat causing the crimes, but simply having more people out and about presents more potential victims.
Professor Fox also points out that when the weather becomes too hot, in excess of 90 degrees, crime rates, including violent crime, begin to drop. That is because, with the extreme heat, it is too hot even for criminals to be out. This, however, does not agree with the data from New York City. According to NY.com, July, the month with the most shootings, is on average the hottest month of the year.
Whatever the case, the correlation between weather and crime is a strong one. Many law enforcement agencies put out additional officers over the summer months to handle the increased criminal activity. It has also been pointed out that in warmer cities, where the weather does not change significantly between summer and winter, neither does the crime rate.
If you have been charged with a crime in the summertime in Kentucky, contact Dan Carman and Attorneys as soon as possible. Our firm is a network of legal professionals with offices located throughout the state. We have the knowledge, experience and resources to help you prepare for court present the best defense strategy, and achieve a favorable outcome. If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, contact us online or call 859-685-1055.