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Associations between temperature and crime in New South Wales, Australia
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 21:40 authored by Heather R. Stevens
This study investigates the relationship between temperature and crime in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Time series and logistic models were applied to an 11-year dataset of incidents of assault, theft, and fraud, as well as spatial mapping and modelling of assault. Results suggested that assault and theft counts were significantly higher in summer than winter (18 and 6%, respectively), while fraud counts were not significantly different. Using maximum monthly temperature, results indicated that for every 10°C increase in temperature, average monthly assaults increased by 22%, and thefts by 3.5%, while again, the relationship for fraud was not significant. Modelling daily average counts revealed similar results. The study also found that for every 10ºC increase in temperature, a violent crime was 14 to 16 times more likely than a nonviolent. Spatially, 96% of Local Government Areas (LGAs) in NSW had a higher summer assault rate than winter, and LGAs experienced significantly differing responses. The findings of this study provide an empirical foundation for understanding crime-temperature relationships, which may support better predictions of criminal behaviour and allocation of police and health resources. Establishment of such relationships may also be useful for understanding how crime may change in a warming climate.