High Heat = Increased Violence?

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RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628
High Heat = Increased Violence?

http://www.5newsonline.com/news/kfsm-violent-week-in-northwest-arkansas-20110801,0,3811590.story

Do you believe that unsually high temperatures increases violence?

This past week it seems as though violence has consumed Northwest Arkansas. There has been an unusual amount of crimes taking place, some of them unexplainable.

5NEWS spoke with officials at the Fayetteville Police Department and they said they don't have a logical explanation for these crimes. They did say it could have something to do with the extreme heat making people unstable.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

We live in a very safe area but recently crimes have increased. I highly doubt that heat is the cause of increased violence but rather the amount of people moving into the area. Just curious what others think. If you have high heats around you, has violence increased?

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

Im no expert, but it seems reasonable to me that unseasonably high heat may lead to more crimes. Especially if there is alcohol involved.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

i do. it makes people more cranky (me!!), it raises your bills, it means that you don't get as much sun (my yard is desperate for mowing and i refuse to go outside to do it, you get less exercise and lose those endorphins if you aren't a gym runner/biker/hiker, people get dehydrated and don't realize it which also affects their health which affects their mood. No doubt in my mind that heat can cause an increase in crime.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780

It makes sense to me, for many of the reasons that Lillie stated. Heck, just rounding up and loading up all three kids from the pool and to the car in the recent 105 degree temps were enough to inspire sweaty frustrated rage in me.

I also think that in urban/poor/already violence prone areas it makes sense simply because it is too dang hot to be in a stuffy poorly ventilated row home with no air conditioning, so more kids than normal are on the streets seeking air late at night than normal. More time outside at night can easily equal more violence in a place already prone to it.

Have not noticed violence increasing in my area, though would now be curious to see if it did in Philly this past few weeks with our record setting temps.

PS, JOhnny Cash Music festival in Arkansas this week! Go Johnny Cash!

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

I have heard that heat is correlated with violence, which makes sense for all of the reasons stated above.

Or maybe cold is a violence/crime suppressor. Smile Who wants to leave their house and run amuck when it's freezing out? Smile

KimPossible's picture
Joined: 05/24/06
Posts: 3312

I def. believe it can increase violence. Weather can totally effect your mood, and extreme weather can probably cause extreme reactions. Uncomfortable and hot....possibly cooped up inside...and can't really escape the heat outside either.

Didn't they used to say that seattle had higher suicide rates and they thought it might be related to the amount of cloudy/rainy/dark days?

Yeah, i definitely think heat = many more people on edge and unhappy. It could take a lot less to set someone off when you feel that way.

Joined: 05/31/06
Posts: 4780
!"

Kim, I've also read that about Ithaca NY. Stressed out college kids, cold and lots of high bridges.

I remember living in seattle when one person was threatening to jump off of a major bridge entering the city. Traffic was held up. People were screaming "Just JUMP!" in their frustration to get out of traffic and to work. The person jumped and lived. Major black eye in the news for the city.

ftmom's picture
Joined: 09/04/06
Posts: 1538

"Alissa_Sal" wrote:

I have heard that heat is correlated with violence, which makes sense for all of the reasons stated above.

Or maybe cold is a violence/crime suppressor. Smile Who wants to leave their house and run amuck when it's freezing out? Smile

Cold isnt really a 'crime suppressor'. The busiest season for our cops is Christmas and new years. It is just typically more spousal and family violence (different kinds of crime).

mommytoMR.FACE's picture
Joined: 04/10/09
Posts: 781

Hm, Baltimore City crime has decreased because people are staying inside to stay cool. Whether it be Mcdonalds, their homes, or wherever. Of course, the crimes that has decreased are stabbings and shootings---violent crimes.

It is all pretty subjective.

Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3189

Has no one seen Do The Right Thing? The key to that movie is that it takes place on the hottest day of the summer.

I would definitely consider the heat a factor in increased crime rate.

culturedmom's picture
Joined: 09/30/06
Posts: 1131

It's a fact. That is why they keep the maority of jails so cold.

Now there are way too many variables to directly link one to the other, but it certainlyis a factor.

elleon17's picture
Joined: 01/26/09
Posts: 1981

I've heard this several times and that it is especially true for highly poplutated areas.

Think of it as being hot-blooded. Maybe the heat revs that up and the cold cools it down.

Alissa_Sal's picture
Joined: 06/29/06
Posts: 6427

"ftmom" wrote:

Cold isnt really a 'crime suppressor'. The busiest season for our cops is Christmas and new years. It is just typically more spousal and family violence (different kinds of crime).

Very interesting! That makes sense - being sort of cooped up inside the house for weeks on end contributes to one kind of crime - being flushed out into the streets and hot and miserable contributes to another.

RebeccaA'07's picture
Joined: 11/19/07
Posts: 1628

Interesting...now that you laid it out like that, makes sense I suppose that heat would increase violence. I don't like it, typically this area is deemed as pretty safe but the inreased violence is scary. Temps into the 110's need to go away!

Prudence's picture
Joined: 05/02/05
Posts: 256

This was in our Criminal Justice class this last year- and knowing how I feel when it gets very hot (and moreso humid because we are not used to humidity out here)- I could see it attributing. Tempers flare easier, people are more impatient, etc.

wlillie's picture
Joined: 09/17/07
Posts: 1796

Yep. The Air Force runs a critical days of summer campaign for 101 days and we get a safety briefing every week. Then during the Holiday Season we get a *HUGE* safety briefing on drinking responsibly and how to enjoy the holiday's without getting hurt. Both times of the year are prone to violence; there are just two different factors; one is the stuff I listed and drinking aka "celebrating" is usually the cause for the second.

Starryblue702's picture
Joined: 04/06/11
Posts: 5454

I don't think it has anything to do with the heat. I think it has to do with the fact that we are at an all time record high for unemplyment, people are poorer than they've ever been, and desperate times call for desperate measures. I'm certainly not justifying anyones criminal actions, but it's just my personal opinion that this is the reason, and people want to blame it on other stupidity (the news, not the OP!).