Seasonality and Crime

Kristin Carbone-Lopez

in Criminology

ISBN: 9780195396607
Published online June 2012 | | DOI:
Seasonality and Crime

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There is a long history within criminology and related disciplines (such as psychology and psychiatry) of searching for patterns in crime and associating crime rates with environmental factors. Listed here are references focusing primarily on the seasonal fluctuations or patterns in crime, rather than the much broader literature on the relationship between temperature and other environmental factors and aggression. However, the two areas often overlap, and scholars attempt to describe seasonal trends while simultaneously adjusting for other environmental factors; separate sections address those references that, while they investigate seasonal patterns, focus primarily on temperature, environment, and social interactions during specific times of the year. Adolphe Quetelet was one of the first scholars to suggest that there was a statistical relationship between seasons of the year and crime rates. Similarly, in Cesare Lombroso’s 1911 book Crime: Its Causes and Remedies on the causes of and remedies for crime, the first chapter focuses on “meteorological and climactic influences on crime.” Since these early observations, scholars have further refined their definition of seasonality and have continued in their attempts to document significant seasonal oscillations in crime—and particularly summer peaks in crime. Using crime statistics from the United States and elsewhere, researchers have described seasonal trends in violent crime as well as in specific crime types such as aggravated assault and rape. Based on these studies, therefore, a number of reviews of the literature on seasons and crime have concluded that there is a great deal of support for the idea that crime, particularly crime against persons, peaks in summer. Yet work in this area continues to expand and develop and has practical implications for law enforcement and crime forecasting.

Article.  6003 words. 

Subjects: Criminology and Criminal Justice ; Criminal Justice ; Criminology

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