KSAT Crimefighters test weather/crime theory

Findings show crime rates rise during summer

By Isis Romero - Anchor

SAN ANTONIO - As the mercury rises this summer, conventional wisdom says so do tempers and aggression, making summer the time of year when most people believe crime tends to occur.

To test this theory, the KSAT Crime Fighters filed an open records request to obtain the number of police calls and number of arrests for the hottest and coldest days of the year for 2013.  All traffic-related calls were excluded from the study.

In the winter, the record coldest days for 2013 were Jan. 7, Jan. 16, and Dec. 7. On those days, crime-related police calls averaged 2,791, while the average arrest rate was 130.

However, on the hottest days of the year, which were June 29, Aug. 6, and Aug. 10, the San Antonio Police Department saw an average of 3,281 police calls a day, and an average arrest rate of 155 per day.

The increase amounts to 19 percent for calls, and 17 percent for arrests over the colder days.

Despite the findings, SAPD Chief William McManus said he is not convinced that weather impacts crime.

"Most of the research that I've looked at, it's not definitive, stating that weather will cause a change in crime," McManus said. "I think people need to be aware of their vulnerabilities all year 'round when it comes to crime."

The Bureau of Justice Statistics put out their own report on weather and crime, and found that crimes like burglary, motor vehicle theft, and some violent crimes, such as aggravated assault and partner violence, do, in fact, go up nationwide over the summer.

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