For a vast majority of people, summer is the season for vacations, water parks and trips to the beach. For burglars, summer is a season of opportunity. Numerous studies have shown that crime rates typically tend to soar during the summer months for a variety of reasons. According to the FBI, burglary rates overall increase around 10 percent in summer with some crimes such as rape, shooting up by close to 16 percent. The worst months of the year for crime rates, according to the FBI, are July and August. So what gives?
Summer Burglaries: Crimes of Opportunity
The reason for the sharp spike in crime rates during summer are fairly easy to pinpoint. Summer is when school is out and teenagers overall tend to get into more trouble with issues such as theft, assault, drugs and alcohol. Summer months are also when many homeowners tend to go on vacation, leaving largely unprotected homes and property behind them. In addition, people often tend to overlook common sense precautions, such as locking doors and securing windows, more often during the summer months than any other season. Law enforcement authorities often note that burglaries are a crime of opportunity. So when people make it obvious that there is no one at home or leave valuables such as phones, wallets, cameras and stereos in plain sight, they become much more attractive targets for burglars.
Burglary Protection Tips
Consumers can take several measures to reduce their chances of become another victim of summer time crime rates. Here are a few of them.
- Install a home security system. Burglars tend to go after easy targets and generally avoid homes that have window decals and yard signs indicating that the property is protected with a burglar alarm system. A recently released study by Temple University shows that crime rates were three times lower for homes protected by home alarm systems compared to homes that did not have such a system.
- When going away on vacation, do not make it obvious that no one is at home. Newspapers lying uncollected on driveways and mailboxes overflowing with mail are obvious indicators that no one is at home. So before going on vacation, suspend mail and newspaper delivery services. Set interior lights on timers with staggered timings so that the home is not completely dark at night.
- Ensure that the exterior of the house is always well lit and that bushes and shrubs are neatly trimmed. Burglars like homes that offer them an opportunity to hide or to carry out their activities unnoticed. So one way to avoid becoming a victim of summer time crime rates is to install bright exterior lights and to cut back bushes so would-be burglars have no place to hide.
- Participate in Neighborhood Watch programs or start one. Law enforcement authorities often maintain that neighborhood patrols are one of the most effective ways of bringing down crime rates. Communities can reduce crime risk dramatically by having neighbors get together and keep a collective eye out for suspicious activities and individuals.