While there is always a chance you will be the victim of a crime that chance increases during the winter months. Chilling temperature extremes create discomfort and rush of emotions in people. This can lead to feelings of anger, depression, and bad decisions. The winter blues can sometimes make people feel unable to find any other way out of their situation than with crime. The winter time brings increases in car theft, property theft, retail theft, and assaults
Some common contributors to winter crimes:
• Increased expenses (including utilities, food, clothing, transportation);
• Increased pressures to find suitable shelter, heating, and transportation;
• Longer hours of darkness allow for better theft conditions;
• Fewer people out-and-about to witness potential crimes
Winter months bring along not only snow, but more crime based out of fear. If someone is contacting you because they committed a crime it’s very likely it may be due to one of the reasons listed above.
When it’s cold outside people tend to start their cars and let them warm up while they are getting ready in the morning. This is the perfect environment for a criminal to jump into the car and take off. This is especially true in the early morning dark hours where neighbors can’t really tell if the vehicle owner is driving or not. To prevent this, stay with your vehicle when you’re warming it up.
Wintertime is a popular time as its dark more hours of the day. Anything left unattended outside of the house, in the garage, or in your car becomes easier to grab. Parking your car at a local store without locking it up leaves you open to property theft as well. Fewer people are out in the winter months, criminals will take the risk of stealing items from cars they can easily access. To prevent this keep doors closed and locked, when in your home, make sure your outdoor lamps are lit at night, if you have them. When parking your vehicle, try to stay in well-lit areas.
During the winter individuals require more money to cover expenses, they can make bad choices. Increases in theft of food and clothing are widely noticed in the winter months. These are typically harder to track due to the large winter clothing that people wear.
In the winter days grow shorter with longer times of darkness, it tends to make people want to stay indoors. This may mean spending more time around others that you’re not used to. An argument can get out of control quickly and lead to a physical assault. Domestic assaults tend to arise from heated arguments over higher winter expenses.
Steve Klingler is a Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers board member. Crime Stoppers is a diverse group of individuals working with local law enforcement officials to hand out rewards for information. Say It Here®is the easiest and fastest way to safely report crime anonymously. Sidney-Shelby Crime Stoppers 492-TIPS (8477)