16 people were shot in Chicago during a 12-hour period last weekend, and authorities say Mother Nature had a role in the spike in violence.
Violence in Chicago never hibernates during the winter, but it usually tapers off as bandits and burglars stay where it’s warm. But as the weather gets nicer and the nights get longer, there are more opportunities for crime. All too often, it’s violent crime that sees the biggest spike.
This seasonal rise in violence can be accounted for by one main variable: that warmer weather brings people outside. Being outside brings people into contact with many more people than they would encounter inside all day, and social encounters bring about crime. Being out at parties, and bars, and even just walking down the street, all create opportunities for street crime and violent crime to occur. Many of these shootings in Chicago begin as arguments at parties or bars. Someone takes it too far, and people get shot.
School is Out
A second possible explanation for the rise in crime during the warmer months is that schools are out. More young people with nothing to entertain them can lead to a rise in the crime rate. We see many more street fights and battery cases involving teenagers during the summer than during the winter. They are out of school, and sometimes boredom can lead to drug use, excessive drinking and fights.
There are plenty of ways to combat boredom and stay out of trouble. For the athletes out there, join a recreational sports league with some of your friends. Not only will it keep you out of trouble, but you’ll have fun and stay in shape.
If you’re not into sports but are interested in having some summer spending money, check out the City of Chicago’s Youth Job Resource page. Working part-time in the summer can put some extra money in your pocket, which can help cut into future college expenses, or you can simply save up for a shopping spree. Whatever you decide to do, stay active and make good choices. Hopefully you’ll never need our services, but if you do, we’re here for you.