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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 06/25/2010

Is summer weather prime for crime?

By Ann Posegate

Wx and the City

* Hot stuff back for weekend: Full Forecast | Nats-Orioles weather *
* Yesterday's record highs | Heat chat transcript | Crime Scene blog *

Most of us remember the silence on the streets of D.C. and Baltimore during Snowmageddon. Few walked. Few drove. Few ventured outside at all for five days straight. Not only that, there were fewer people out committing violent crimes on the streets.

While cold weather does not always deter crime, several feet of snow within one week did just that. Serious crime dropped 71 percent in Baltimore and D.C.'s homicide rate dropped to zero during the back-to-back snowstorms of early February.

However, the onset of summer means an increase in crime for D.C. Hot temperatures coupled with longer days, summer break from area high schools and a high unemployment rate could increase crime rates this summer.

Keep reading for more about warm weather and crime. Does your neighborhood experience more crime in the summer? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

A positive correlation between warm weather and crime has been known for years, going as far back as the 19th Century, though the relationship eventually tapers off when the temperature becomes too hot. As of May, D.C.'s homicide rate was down 30 percent this year compared to last, but D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier expects repeat offenders will come back with the increase in temperatures and daylight.

The District's summer crime strategy includes an "All Hands on Deck" police initiative that began in May, more programs and jobs for teenagers, better enforcement, community engagement and targeting repeat offenders.

How safe do you feel in summer versus other seasons? Let us know by posting a comment below.

By Ann Posegate  | June 25, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Posegate, Wx and the City  
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I'm not sure just how hot weather affects crime. Urban riots of the Sixties and Seventies tended to occur in hot summer weather.

I'm more irritable myself but the cause has more to do with the way Metro is handling this huge fare increase than with the hot weather. I'm being forced to make a rare Friday trip to Ballston this afternoon because the folks at Metro don't have my new higher-priced weekly bus pass available until today. Normally it's available on Wednesday, and I can stay home on Friday without having to run "downtown" in the afternoon. This week I had to stay home yesterday and now have to make the Ballston trip later today. Metro has been pushing this fare increase for months and, IMO, didn't have to wait till the last minute to implement it. In addition, as I posted yesterday, I feel that private car owners ought to shoulder more of the fiscal "load" for maintaining highways and transit. We are in some danger of running out of gasoline due to our gas-guzzling excess.

Posted by: Bombo47jea | June 25, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Its not that hard to figure out. In areas of the city and PG County people tend to sit out front of their apartments to all hours of the night during the summer. Some are armed. When disputes start a gun is pulled and someone is shot. In the winter no one hangs out front. They are inside because its cold.

Its the first thing that a new police officer learns.

Posted by: MKadyman | June 25, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

A little off-topic, maybe, but, Bombo47jea, why should private-car owners pay even more to maintain the Metro system?...that is nonsense. I can see them paying to help maintain highways, which they DO use. But the only thing cars use at Metro are the parking lots...and they are already paying $4-5 a day to park there. And Motorists are also helping to subsidize Metro through local, state, and Federal taxes, which give the money back to Metro.

No offense, but it sounds to me like you are just complaining for the sake of complaining, and not for any real reason.

Posted by: MMCarhelp | June 25, 2010 11:54 PM | Report abuse

Crime most definitely increases here in the summer. The cause is obvious -- more young men loitering on street corners all night.

Posted by: stuckman | June 26, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

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