What Daylight Savings Time Means for Crime
Daylight Savings Time (DST) begins on the second Sunday of March, which means that you’ll soon be advancing your clocks an hour ahead, if you are in a region that follows this practice. Most of North America uses Daylight Savings Time during the summer months, so it’s important to consider how this time change affects various aspects of life.
One way that Daylight Savings Time has an impact is on crime.
A study in The Review of Economics and Statistics found that, when Daylight Savings Time begins in the spring, robbery rates for the entire day decrease about 7 percent. There is also a decrease of 27 percent in the evening hour that has gained additional daylight. The time shift has also been attributed to lower incidents of violent crime as well as several other crimes.
Obviously these numbers are significant. Not only are they important, but they tell us something about the nature of criminals and crime. One point displayed here is that criminals tend to commit crimes in the dark. There are many reasons why, and the main reason is that they do not want to be seen.
When it’s dark, not only is it tougher for people to spot criminals, but it also makes it more difficult for devices such as security cameras to capture high-quality footage. Criminals exploit the darkness by dressing in dark colors, covering their faces, and hiding out of sight whenever possible. The point remains: Criminals do not want to be seen.
Another important point shown by the DST study is that criminals do not shift their crimes to darker mornings, even when the time change gives more light at night. This shows that most criminals prefer to commit crimes in the evening, regardless of the time of year. This is important information that businesses can use to protect their properties. If you can determine when criminals are likely to strike, you can change your behaviour to provide additional protection during these times.
How This Information Can Help Protect Us
As mentioned, the information provided by this study isn’t just interesting, but it can also be used to help protect properties.
One way that this information can help is the fact that criminals like to commit crimes in the dark. With this knowledge, property owners can act to add additional lighting to their properties to reduce crime. For example, exterior lighting can make your property much less of target. Obviously, regardless of Daylight Savings Time, it is going to be dark at some point, so using exterior lighting to illuminate your property as needed is important for keeping criminals away.
The fact that criminals prefer to strike at night is also valuable information. Business owners can use this knowledge to ensure that their properties are protected overnight. One excellent way to do this is to install physical security gates. These gates will put a physical visual barrier inside your business that will make it significantly more difficult for criminals to gain access.
Rolling or folding security gates can quickly and easily be locked shut when you close your business for the evening, providing protection during the night. They can then easily be rolled or folded out of the way during business hours, keeping your property open and accessible to customers.
We have some more helpful tips to improving the security of your business. Download our helpful guide to Improving Your Security Mindset.