ISU Researcher: Link Between High Heat And Crime Is Tenuous

An Indiana State University professor says common sense would seem to dictate that criminals would want to be comfortable rather than uncomfortable.

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Photo: Emily Loftis/WFIU News

An Indiana State University professor says a commonly held belief that crime increases with summer heat may be counterintuitive.

An Indiana State University instructor says there may be a link between summer time heat and crime, but there‘s not much research to back it up.

Melissa Benningfield of the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice says increased crime during summer months is likely more due to longer days and the fact that people want to go outside.

Benningfield also attributes any rise to the fact that more kids are out of school and outdoors more often. Benningfield says common sense might dictate crime suspects commit crime during cooler, more comfortable weather.

Benningfield also cites a theory called, “Stakes In Conformity.” She says the theory states that people who don‘t have stakes in the community, a job or sense of a future may have a tendency to get into trouble.

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