The Impact of Weather on Crime
There are many different things that can affect the security of your business. Some of them are obvious, such as security systems, lighting, and various aspects of your physical location. However, one aspect that is often overlooked is weather. There are actually many ways that weather affects crime.
A 2013 study published in the journal Science compared levels of violence during periods of normal climate with violence levels during extreme weather (such as higher temperatures, low rainfall and extreme rainfall). The study found that, in nearly all regions studied, conflict levels increased during periods of extreme weather.
Multiple studies have found that overly hot months lead to significantly higher crime rates in all United States cities. This is likely due to the fact that very high temperatures cause agitation and aggression.
Extreme amounts of rain, or very low levels of rain, can lead to feelings of scarcity as crops can’t grow properly and many jobs are hindered by unexpected rain levels. This gives way to feelings of desperation, which increases conflict and crime.
In addition, if your business is in a region where the temperature drops significantly during the winter, you may have noticed that there are often fewer crimes (such as break-ins and vandalism) as people do not want to go outside when the weather is bitterly cold.
These are all examples of how weather can affect the security of your business.
What Your Business Can Do
One of the main ways that you can protect your business from crime influenced by weather is by understanding the connection. Once you recognize that there is a greater likelihood for criminals to strike during different types of weather, you can take steps to improve security at your business during these times.
For example, during the summer, there are more daylight hours. This affects crime in two ways that may seem contradictory to one another.
On one hand, more daylight and more pleasant temperatures mean more people will spend time outside. How this affects your business will depend on your current business security. More people could mean less crime, as criminals won’t be able to act without being caught. However, it could also increase the likelihood of a crime as well. Many crimes are crimes of opportunity and, if there are more people around to notice potential flaws in your security set-up, there is a greater chance of a crime taking place.
However, more daylight hours can also push crimes back, into the night. When the sun sets early, such as in the winter, it is dark in the early evening. Criminals like to work in the dark as it decreases their chances of people caught. With more hours of darkness, they may choose to strike in the early evening. However, when the sun stays out until later, criminals will wait until the middle of the night, when it’s dark, to commit their crimes.
As you can see from this information, it’s crucial to continuously monitor weather conditions and to change your business security based on current weather.
It’s also important to recognize that some security tools become less effective during certain types of weather. For example, video surveillance cameras may not be able to record clear footage if it is dark and stormy, or if there is a significant amount of rain. In the same sense, security guards often have trouble performing their jobs properly when it is very hot or very cold. Once you understand these facts, you can take steps to ensure you have alternate methods of security available as needed. For instance, physical security gates can protect your property at all times, in all weather conditions, making them a good choice for business security.
Want some more helpful tips to improving the security of your business? Download our helpful guide to Improving Your Security Mindset.