More Violent Crime Is Reported in the Dark Hours of Standard Time: Study


Now that the nation has switched to standard time, St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario says that the rate of violent crime rises before we get that extra hour of daylight back in the spring. A study this year by Nicholas Sanders, an economics professor at the College of William and Mary in Virginia, and Jennifer Doleac, a University of Virginia economics professor found that robbery was down 51 percent, murder 43 percent and rape 56 percent in a three-week period during all daylight-savings-time zones in the “extra” hour of evening daylight. Like cockroaches, criminals don’t like the light, Rosario says. They don’t want to be seen or caught. It stands to reason that there would be less crime with more light. The crime researchers crunched hourly data from the National Incident-Based Reporting System from 2005 to 2008. They compared reported crime activity during the three weeks before and after DST took effect in the spring. The analysis covered 762 jurisdictions across the nation with a collective population of about 29 million people. “Robbery was the only crime for which we found consistent, stable, results, so it got much of our focus,” Sanders explained.

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