Police division sees more reports of nuisance partying, disorderly conduct as weather warms

Aimee Hancock and Aimee Hancock

With the arrival of spring and a rise in temperature often comes an increase in the number of criminal offenses.

As the weather gets warmer, police tend to see more alcohol offenses, nuisance parties, disorderly conducts and assaults, said Maj. Tony Hetrick, deputy chief of Bowling Green Police Division.

“We expect that to continue until the end of the semester,” Hetrick said.

According to crime statistics provided by the division, in 2013 criminal/malicious mischief crimes increased from seven in January to 12 in May. These crimes include things such as damaging property and vandalism.

Professor and Director of Criminal Justice Steven Lab said the correlation between crime and increased temperatures depends on the crimes in mention.

While property crimes such as theft and burglary tend to be highest around Christmas due to the influx of holiday shopping, an increase in personal crimes is often the most commonly noted as temperatures increase, Lab said.

“When it’s warmer, people are out,” he said.

Since Bowling Green is considered as a college town, the number of crimes recorded tends to increase after spring break.

In 2013, 45 disorderly conducts were recorded within the month of January. This number increased to 67 in March.

The statistics for 2014 show the same trend. Forty-three disorderly conducts were recorded in January, increasing to 54 in March.

But when comparing with the month of March, the celebration of St. Paddy’s Day must be taken into account given that the holiday alone often causes an increase in criminal activity, including underage consumption, public intoxication and disorderly conduct.

Thirty-three percent of the crimes recorded within the month of March 2014 were committed on St. Paddy’s Day.

Throughout the day of March 17, and into the early morning of March 18, 18 people were charged with crimes, most of which involved alcohol and/or drugs as well as disorderly conduct.

Yet, this goes back to the observation that the more people are out, the higher the chances that crimes will be committed.

Hetrick said that during the winter months, people who choose to drink will often do so within their own homes or they will go straight to and from the bars to avoid being in the cold for too long.

But during the warmer months there is a higher chance that people will drink outdoors, increasing the opportunity and probability for criminal activity.