Around the U.S., Crime Reports Drop When It Gets Colder, Say Police, Experts


Crime is down in many places hit hardest by record-shattering cold weather, reports NBC News. Police calls are down in Memphis, major crimes have plunged in Boston, rural Medina County, Oh., is enjoying a near-stoppage of property crime. New York City had 12 consecutive days without a murder. “You don’t have people out and about in normal activity,” said Brian Cheek, a deputy chief in Greensboro, N.C., where calls about larcenies, shoplifting, assaults, and domestic disputes have plummeted in recent days. “If people aren’t out, they won’t be potential victims for criminals to choose from.”

“The general pattern is that extreme weather tends to cause an across-the-board decrease in crime when it’s cold,” said Matthew Ranson of Cambridge, Ma.-based Abt Associates. He published results of 30 years of data and found “a very strong historical relationship between temperature and crime.” More broadly, as global temperatures rise, crime and social disorder could increase. At the same time, colder periods correspond to drop-offs in criminal behavior. Ransom found offense rates dropping when the temperature went below about 50 degrees. In most cases, the rate continued to decline as the temperature got colder.

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