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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cold weather is keeping criminals off the streets.

“It’s human nature,” said Lt. Steve Maynard, spokesman for the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office. “Temperatures below 20 degrees are out of their comfort zone.”

According to police, crime drops in cold temperatures because there is less traffic and outdoor activity during the winter months.

“Real cold weather is a deterrent,” Gainesville Police Department spokesman Capt. Ed Book said.

Police were busy during winter break when many students left their apartments and cars unlocked, which caused  theft in Gainesville to rise.

This past week, the GPD has faced a murder, armed robberies and a purse snatching.

However, this has more to do with the holidays and students returning to school and less to do with the colder weather, Book said.

“It is hard to figure out the correlation between crime and cold weather statistically,” he said. “Cold weather may not be the only cause, but there is a definite relationship.”

Drug-related stings operated by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office are rarely scheduled on cold nights, Maynard said.

“When we go out on a really cold night, there is no one on the streets,” he said.

Break-ins and carjackings significantly increase in the summer when children are out of school and parents leave for work.

Alcohol-related crimes do not rise during the winter in Gainesville, Maynard said.

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The most crimes that are related to alcohol occur during football season.

“When people are leaving bars at 2 a.m. and it’s 20 degrees outside, they don’t hang around in the parking lots to fight and start trouble,” Book said.

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