You may have heard that violent crime spikes during the summer months but dismissed it as an unproven myth. However, the issue was important enough for the Bureau of Justice Statistics to conduct a research study in 2014 entitled Seasonal Patterns in Criminal Victimization Trends. To no one’s great surprise, the report indicated an increase in several types of crimes when the weather was at its warmest. The main categories indicated by the report include property crimes and violent victimization.
Which Types of Violent Crime Peak During the Summer?
The Bureau of Justice Statistics included the following types of violent crimes among those that occur more often during the summer:
- Aggravated assault
- Domestic violence
- Simple assault
- Victimization involving a weapon
- Violence resulting in injury
As this report proves, an increase in violent crime during the summer is a real phenomenon. It can be as much as 12 percent higher than the other three seasons. We will explore some of the possible reasons for this below.
Higher Temperatures Mean More Opportunities for Crime
The higher the temperature climbs, the more likely people are to open their windows to let in some cool air. Not everyone can afford air conditioning or likes the way that it feels. However, open windows and even doors increase a person’s vulnerability to crime. People also spend more time outside and away from home. If they leave their doors unlocked or tell a lot of people about their plans, anyone left at home could become the victim of a violent crime.
The sun can rise as early as 5:30 a.m. in Colorado Springs during the summer and not set until nearly 9:00 in the evening. Having more than 15 hours of available daylight means that more people are outdoors or traveling and not at home. In an area known for year-round tourists like Colorado Springs, the higher number of people outdoors in the summer increases the likelihood of a violent crime taking place.
Another factor contributing to summer crime rates is that students are not in school for the summer and may find destructive things to do with their free time. Others feel that high temperatures alone can make people feel uncomfortable and aggressive.
Excessive Temperatures Drive People Indoors
Despite all of the above factors, even people intent on committing a crime know when to go inside. An article published by Medical Daily indicates that criminal activity drops off once the outside temperature consistently reaches 90 degrees. It seems that it’s too uncomfortable for anyone to be outside so people retreat to air-conditioned comfort if they can.
Possible Solutions to Summer Crime Spikes
Colorado Springs isn’t the only community in the United States that struggles with this issue. The larger the city, the more it deals with an uptick in violent crime during hot weather. Several communities have discovered that offering more activities to keep youth busy can help to thwart this problem.
Cities have also begun looking at whether those who with a previous conviction for a violent crime receive close enough supervision, whether on probation or not. Making cooling more affordable for everyone by offering energy assistance grants is yet another solution that the governments of large cities have considered to reduce this troubling trend.
Have You Been Charged with a Violent Crime in Colorado?
It’s somewhat of a catch-22 situation. Police officers expect violent crime rates to go up in the summer, so they become extra vigilant in looking for it. Unfortunately, that means they could arrest a person who was simply defending himself or herself, was set-up as the fall guy by another party, or who has another legitimate defense against a violent crime charge. Perhaps this has even happened to you and you’re not sure where to turn.
The criminal defense attorneys at Anderson & Carnahan, Attorneys at Law, have more than five decades of aggressively defending people charged with violent crime in Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. We are happy to offer you a free consultation to learn more about the charges against you and let you know how we can help. Please contact us at 719-473-9099 to schedule your complimentary consultation today. The longer you wait, the more time the prosecution has to build a case against you.