Summer Crime Spike. Not an Urban Legend.

Summer is here and so is the summer crime spike.  No, this is not some fictional tale to get you to buy an alarm system.  The fact is, crime rates do spike every summer.  You are probably wondering which crimes will spike this summer and what you can do to stay safe? 

To answer the first question we looked at a 2014 study from the Bureau of Justice Statistics which found that violent and property crime rates are higher during the summer.  The study found that violent and property crimes not resulting in death increased by 11-12% during summer months. 

The data in the report was derived from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which annually collects information on nonfatal victimizations against persons age 12 or older from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households. The data included crimes reported and not reported to the police from 1993 to 2010. Asking the victim in which month the incident occurred makes it possible to assess how the risk for victimization varies throughout the year. For each of the crime types, differences in the rates are compared across the four seasons of the year.  Summer seems to be the main culprit.

A close review of the 2014 study revealed an increase of the following crimes during the summer months:

With that information in mind, the following preventive measures can help you decrease the chances of becoming a victim.

Larceny prevention tips.  The rate of estimated larceny-thefts in 2010 was 2,003.5 per 100,000 inhabitants.  Larceny-thefts accounted for an estimated 68.1 percent of property crimes in 2010.  The average value of property taken during larceny-thefts was $988 per offense.  Keeping your property safe from thieves can be accomplished by following simple key rules. Scope the landscape.  Be aware of your surroundings.  Take a quick look around and identify anything or anyone who looks suspicion.  Carry only what you actually need.  Carry only small amounts of cash.  Carry only the credit cards you actually plan to use.  Leave expensive jewelry at home.  Try not to carry anything that is irreplaceable or of sentimental value.  

Aggravated assault prevention tips.  In 2016, there were an estimated 803,007 aggravated assaults in the nation.  The Department of Justice and police departments recommend taking measures to prevent becoming a victim.  If harassed or assaulted, scream and attempt to run for safety.  Walk confidently, directly, and at a steady pace.  Don’t stop to talk to strangers.  Be alert for subjects loitering in an area with no particular purpose.  Watch where you are going and what is going on around you.  Lastly, never hitchhike. 

Rape and sexual assault prevention tips.  On average, there are 321,500 victims (age 12 or older) of rape and sexual assault each year in the United States.  The following advice can help you avoid becoming a victim.  Make sure all windows and doors in your home can be locked securely, particularly sliding glass doors. Use the locks. Keep entrances well lighted.  Check the identification of any sales or service person before letting him in.  If you live in an apartment, avoid being in the laundry room or garage by yourself, especially at night.  If you come home alone and find a door or window open or signs of forced entry don’t go in.  Go to the nearest phone and call the police.  Be alert to your surroundings and the people around you.  Stay in well-lighted areas as much as possible.  Walk confidently at a steady pace on the side of the street facing traffic.  Walk close to the curb. Avoid doorways, bushes, and alleys.  If you are in trouble, attract help any way you can. Scream, yell for help, or yell “Fire!”  If you feel you’re being followed, walk into a store or knock on a house door.  Keep your car in good working order and the gas tank at least half full.  Park in well-lighted areas and lock the doors, even if you’ll only be gone a short time.  When you return to your car, have the key ready and check the front and rear seats and floor before getting in.  Drive with all the doors locked.

Intimate partner violence.  The most critical advice that you can follow is to know the signs. Intimate partner violence can happen to anyone—white, black, young, old, rich, poor, educated, not educated. Sometimes violence begins early on in a relationship and other times it takes months or even years to appear. But there generally are some warning signs. Be wary of the following red flags an abuser may exhibit at any point in a relationship such as being jealous of your friends or time spent away, embarrassing or shaming you, controlling all financial decisions, making you feel guilty for all the problems in the relationship, preventing you from working, intentionally damaging your property, threatening violence against you, your pets or someone you love to gain compliance, pressuring you to have sex when you don’t want to, or intimidating you physically, especially with weapons.

Vehicle theft prevention tips. Most of us don’t think about car theft prevention until it’s too late. But the fact is, learning how to prevent a car theft is knowledge you need.  Consider this: a vehicle is stolen every 44 second in the United States according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While 50 percent are recovered, that somewhat encouraging figure doesn’t tell the whole story.  As such, police officers recommend you keep track of your keys, take your vehicle’s keys with you, secure your vehicle (check all doors and windows), park in well-lit areas if possible, avoid leaving valuables in your vehicle, especially if they can be seen from outside the vehicle, don’t leave loose change in the cupholders, use a physical anti-theft device, and don’t leave your car running.

Nobody wakes up in the morning thinking that they will be the next crime victim.  But as cliche as this sounds, it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Following these preventive tips can help you and your family stay safe this summer and avoid that unsettling summer crime spike that is upon us. If you or a family member need help bailing someone out of jail, contact us here!