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Testing time-sensitive influences of weather on street robbery

Tompson, LA; Bowers, KJ; (2015) Testing time-sensitive influences of weather on street robbery. Crime Science , 4 , Article 8. 10.1186/s40163-015-0022-9. Green open access

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Although the relationship between weather and crime has been extensively investigated over the past century, little consensus has emerged on the directions of the relationships observed and the mechanisms through which weather might exert its influence. This paper advances an argument that the interpretation of weather, and subsequent activities based on that interpretation, leads to spatio-temporal variations in criminal opportunities, and hence crime. Two hypotheses relating to unseasonal weather and effects of weather on discretionary activities are proposed. Negative binomial regression models are used to test these at the 6-hour shift unit of analysis on street robberies in the Strathclyde region of Scotland. In line with predictions, in this temperate microclimate, more favourable weather in winter (higher temperatures and low wind speeds) was associated with increases in robbery. Partial support was also found for the hypothesis regarding time delineated for discretionary activities. Here, temperature, wind speed and humidity were seen to be significant predictors of robbery during the night shift and weekends. Notably rain was shown to have a negative relationship with robbery at the weekends. This affirms that people are less likely to venture outdoors when it is raining when travel behaviour is optional. Counter to our hypothesised effects, fog was the only variable to significantly interact with public holidays. We conclude by discussing how these analyses might be extended and briefly discuss implications for crime prevention.

Type: Article
Title: Testing time-sensitive influences of weather on street robbery
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40163-015-0022-9
Publisher version: http://dxd.oi.org/10.1186/s40163-015-0022-9
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Tompson and Bowers; licensee Springer. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1468280
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