Why Does Crime Heat Up in Summer?

The summer months bring warm weather, outdoor activities, vacations and fun, but the rising temperatures also bring a spike in crime rates. This trend of increased crime is particularly true in northern cities like Chicago, Milwaukee, Detroit and Philadelphia, though the phenomenon seems to occur in most major cities around the nation.

The reasons behind this are many and varied, according to multiple studies, and most can’t agree on whether the temperatures are causative or just corollary. Sociologists and criminologists have been debating the issue for decades.

It has been speculated that the warm temperatures encourage people to leave their homes more often and for longer and also encourages people to leave their windows open, making their homes and cars more vulnerable to break-ins. Violent crimes, unfortunately, also increase in most cities during summer months, including assaults, rapes and murders. 

In Chicago, for instance, 74 people were shot and 12 of them killed over the weekend of August 3-5, 2018, when temperatures topped out at 97 degrees.

Some believe that the simple discomfort from heat makes people more aggressive and more likely to be violent. That combined with increased alcohol usage during summer and a larger volume of people outside create a recipe for an increase in violence.

Many sociologists are also examining the impact of social inequality on higher summer crime rates. Lower-income individuals and families have access to fewer options to escape the heat— such as pools, air conditioned homes, beach vacations—and are left with more unoccupied time. Gang activity and juvenile crime in lower-income neighborhoods both increase during the summer months when children aren’t in school. More people packed together in public spaces will always have an increased risk for conflict, and increasing social inequality results in higher tensions on the rise.

Ultimately, most studies on the subject in the last decade have acknowledged all of these contributing elements, but have emphasized the need for more detailed studies of crime, particularly gun violence, to better understand the causes and attempt to mitigate those risk factors.

ArchAngels wishes everyone a safe summer, but should anything happen to you or a loved one, you can count on our professional crime scene cleanup services to help you quickly restore your life and home to normalcy. Never try to clean any scene yourself, especially when there has been blood or other fluids. Bodily fluids are rife with bacteria, which thrive in the warm and moist environment of summer. You need professionals to ensure proper disposal of pathogens and contaminants and sanitization of your home and belongings.

ArchAngels is a licensed, bonded, and insured company operated by caring and compassionate individuals that specialize in the field of decontamination and restoration of biohazard environments as a result of tragic deaths, suicides and accidents. Our first priority is to help you when it matters the most, easing psychological, emotional, and physical trauma in times of crisis. Contact us online or call us 24/7 at 888-750-0200.