5 Factors that Can Increase or Decrease Crime Rates on Halloween Night

Halloween is a creepy time…but is it also a dangerous one? Curious about burglary rates on Halloween night, we did a little poking around to see what we could find. It turns out crime can increase on Halloween, but usually doesn’t, and it’s very much a case of “it depends” when you ask if crime will increase in your neighborhood. There are factors that can increase risk, and those that can decrease it.

As an add-on to our advice to keeping your trick-or-treaters safe, below we offer five factors to consider to determine if you should be a tad more vigilant on this night of ghosts, goblins and candy eaters, to ensure your evening is about treats, not tricks.

1. Day of the week
Whether or not crime rates go up on Halloween depends in part on which day of the week happens to be October 31st in any given year. Halloweens that fall on weekends tend to be higher risk than those that fall on weeknights. Since we’re writing this advice in 2014, note that we’re facing a Friday night Halloween this year, so take that into consideration!

2. The weather
Turns out weather also affects crime rates on Halloween. The nicer the weather—think pleasant, crisp fall nights—the happier the criminals are to be out and about. Icky cold and wet weather, on the other hand, encourages them to stay home.

3. Law enforcement
Some cities increase the numbers of police officers on duty and patrol cars on the road on Halloween night. This factor can definitely help to keep crime rates down. If you’re not sure how your city handles law enforcement on October 31st, it might be worth a phone call to find out.

4. Your neighborhood
If your neighborhood is generally a peaceful, safe place the other 364 days of the year, statistics show it likely will be on Halloween night too. If, on the other hand, your neighborhood has issues, you might want to keep your guard up.

5. Your own preventive precautions
Obviously, what you do to protect your home on Halloween should be the same as what you do every other night of the year. Good lighting, trimmed back bushes, adequate door and window locks, a well-lit home security system sign in the front yard…all of these are everyday preventive precautions that will also work to keep your home safe on Halloween night too.

Although statistics indicate crime risk is no greater on Halloween night than any other, it’s still always a good idea to be prepared. And as these factors indicate, you might need to be a little more prepared than usual!

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