Do Higher Temperatures = Higher Crime Rates?
NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It’s long been thought that there is a direct correlation between hot weather and an increase in crime. But one local expert doesn’t think it’s that cut and dry.
Alex Piquero, a professor of criminology at the University of Texas at Dallas, says the heat and violence link is more incidental. “The heat does something indirectly to violence and it could lead people to be more irritable, more prone to anger, because they just are kinda not feeling really good,” he said.
Statistics show the crime rate will not necessarily climb with the temperature. In fact, Piquero says crime is quite constant. “We see violence when it’s cold, when it’s nice in springtime weather, and when it’s also hot in the summer, so it’s not necessarily always going to be patterned that way.”
And despite what you might think, violence has not been climbing over the last decade. “As a whole, we’ve been on a downward trend with respect to crime and especially violence,” said Piquero.
Experts also point to different familial routines during summer, when children area out of school and people are more inclined to spend time outdoors and intermingling with strangers.