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City's Crime Rate Rising Along With the Temperature

By Nigel Chiwaya | May 22, 2015 11:30am

HARLEM — Police across the city reported an uptick in crime in the past month, NYPD statistics show — a trend officials are blaming on the warmer weather.

Sixteen precincts across the city reported an increase in crime between April 13 and May 10, according to NYPD data:

A rash of grand larcenies led to a 23 percent increase in Morningside Heights's 26th Precinct crime totals, while Harlem's 28th Precinct saw major crimes jump from 39 to 58 during the same period, including a wave of shootings that swept the area in recent months

Deputy Inspector Olufunmilo Obe, commanding officer of the 28th Precinct, blamed the violence on the rising mercury.

"[The temperature] just jumped, it went to the 80s right away and the next thing you know citywide we got shootings everywhere," Obe told those in attendance during May's community council meeting.

“We were good in the beginning of the year,” Obe added. “We had a cold winter."

Police have long pointed to a correlation between weather and crime — including NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton, who penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal  in 2012 linking the two during a crime surge in Chicago.

DNAinfo charted out 28-day crime totals dating back to January 2014 and found that the arc of crime spikes coincided with warmer months, with a few notable exceptions.

For example, in March 2014, with its average temperature of 38 degrees, there were approximately 7,300 reported major crimes across the city, while there were nearly 8,800 in July 2014.

Crimes fell to a yearly low of 6,572 during February 2015, which was the fourth-coldest February on record, data show.

There were some outliers to the trend. January 2014 was a particularly crime-ridden month, with 7,891 major crimes reported, despite an average temperature of 29 degrees.