Thursday, July 8, 2010

Too Hot for Crime?

Research Indicates Crime Stagnates at Fahrenheit 90

Crime researchers and police both say that violent crimes rise with the temperature. But once the reading reaches a certain level - about 90 degrees - researchers have found that violent-crime rates drop.

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Boston's Northeastern University who has studied the relationship between crime and temperature told the Columbus Dispatch, "When it gets to the point of being unbearable, people don't fight, they withdraw."

In his study, which used data from 2007, Fox found that violent crime was most common in the mid- and upper 80s and that it was least common in cool weather. According to the Dispatch, his findings are backed by laboratory experiments showing that physiological changes make people more aggressive in high temperatures.

Fox's study found that violent crime peaked in May but remained high throughout the summer.

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