Summer is arguably the best time of the year in Florida. Outdoor sports, trips to the beach, backyard barbeques, and the joys of nature are in full swing. If it can be done outside, summer is the time to do it.
Unfortunately, the summer heat also coincides with an uptick in crime – particularly with juveniles.
It’s not just superstition. According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, researchers established a clear correlation between crime and the hottest months of the year. Burglaries, domestic violence assaults, and sexual assaults were all found to increase by double digits over the cooler seasons of fall and winter.
In fact, large cities experienced as much as a jaw-dropping 35 percent increase in overall major categories of crime. It seems like an annual epidemic.
The question is why is it happening? Further, why are minors disproportionately affected?
According to criminologists, social scientists and law enforcement experts, the answers are far more logical than mysterious.
First, kids are out of school in the summer months and they have much more unstructured time to do things that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do if they were still in school.
Heat is also known to inflame short tempers. Studies show that high temperatures increase irritability and aggression. With more people outside and interacting with each other more than in chilly winter months, tempers are bound to flare and perhaps spill over into violence.
When it’s hot, people are also more likely to leave their windows open and their valuables exposed. That’s just more opportunity for those already inclined to take advantage of others and break the law.
By the same token, many people travel extensively during the summer months and leave their homes unattended. Experienced burglars look for these easy targets. Rates of crime can increase when established criminals are presented with opportunities.
Finally, alcohol. The word itself conjures images of cold, refreshing beverages consumed amid soaring summertime temperatures. There’s nothing wrong with throwing back a few drinks at family get-togethers or wild outdoor parties, but it can be abused. When people get drunk, especially younger more inexperienced people, fun in the sun can turn into trouble. It’s a significant contributor to increased, often senseless, crime.
Take the time to check in on your kids and their activities this summer. Even the best kids can get into trouble from time to time. If you need help for any reason for your kids or for yourself, do not wait to contact a member of our experienced legal team.