Crime in America.Net
The reader inquiry is violent crime by month, specifically if robbery goes up during December. The Federal Bureau of Investigation through the Uniform Crime Reports (crimes reported to law enforcement agencies) used to provide crimes by month in their annual reports but that practice was discontinued. They were kind enough, however, to provide a data sheet for 2008 so we could provide an answer. They warn that not all law enforcement agencies provide this data.
Traditionally, violent crime increases during the summer months with approximately 100,000 violent crimes a month occurring during July through September and decreasing though the colder months to approximately 85,000 violent crimes. The difference spread throughout the country for 15,000 violent crimes would hardly be noticeable by the average jurisdiction.
The same pattern holds for robbery. For the July-September, the country reports approximately 31,000 robberiesa month. Robberies peak in October (33,000) level off in November (31,000) but increase back to a little over 31,000 for December. They drop in January-March (lowest in February, 23,400) but average approximately 28,000 in April-June.
The month of December in context:
December is the lowest month for rape (4,944) and the second lowest for aggravated assault (46,851). It’s also the lowest month for motor vehicle theft (61,526).
The bottom-line as to crimes per month is that while there are differences, there seems to be more stability in month-to-month raw numbers than major variations. So as far as our reader is concerned, December and robbery is a concern, but the difference in raw numbers between December (the third highest month) and February (the lowest month) is negligible.
Regardless, robbery in and around commercial areas and malls is something to be concerned about during the holidays and shoppers should follow the lead of law enforcement agencies who stress caution while carrying items back to their cars.
Shop with someone else. Have security walk you to your car. If uncomfortable with the situation, go back inside of the store.
For additional crime prevention information, see http://crimeinamerica.net/2010/12/13/what-are-my-chances-of-being-a-victim-of-violent-crime/ and