It’s important to be aware of possible crime spikes that can occur in your area. Those can include the holidays, and knowing which holidays are more likely to result in higher reports of criminal activity can help you better equip yourself and those around you with knowledge on how to stay safe. By familiarizing yourself with the specific holidays that have historically seen significant increases in reported criminal activity, you can learn strategies for protecting your home or business from burglaries, vandalism, and other crimes.
Here we’ll take a look at some of the most common holiday periods that have seen noteworthy spikes in crime over the years, what types of crimes to expect, the risk factors involved, and the measures you should take to protect your property from security threats during these times.
Which Holidays See a Corresponding Increase in Crime?
It’s not surprising to see an increase in crime during certain holidays like Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and July 4th. Studies have shown that on these days, particularly in cities and urban areas, there is an increase in robberies and burglaries. To help you better understand the reason behind this, here’s what you should know:
- Leading up to Christmas, the most common crime is parcel theft; porch piracy. The increase in deliveries intended as Christmas gifts make tempting targets for thieves.
- During Thanksgiving, there is often an increase in vehicular theft because of all the extra cars parked on the streets due to events like family gatherings. This includes cars and items left inside them.
- On Halloween night, there’s often a rise in vandalism. The anonymity of masks and costumes makes it easier for people to act out aggressive behavior without fear of consequences.
- July 4th often sees an increase in arson-related incidents as people may look to start celebrations with fireworks or explosives, which can lead to accidental fires if used incorrectly. As such, it is important for everyone attending holiday parties or events this season to remain alert and take precautions if necessary.
What Kinds of Crime See Holiday-related Increases?
As mentioned, the holiday season is a time that typically sees an increase in certain kinds of crime. Home burglary, workplace theft, larceny, vandalism, cybercrime, property damage, and car theft are among the types of crime that rise during this time of year.
- Home burglaries occur more often during the holidays due to people being away from home for extended periods of time. Homes left empty while people are traveling or attending holiday festivities create easy targets for criminals looking to take advantage.
- Workplace theft generally increases as well since businesses can be less secure due to fewer employees working over the holidays. Even with adequate security systems and measures in place, it is still possible for opportunistic thieves to break in or steal items from within the building.
- Larceny is also common during this season because of all the extra shoppers out and about buying gifts. People may leave valuable objects unattended or even put them down when they move on to another store. These items become vulnerable and easy targets for thieves.
- Vandalism is also more likely around this time due to residents leaving town and decorations being unmonitored. Criminals may see an opportunity to cause destruction without consequence since there won’t be anyone around to stop them.
- Cybercrimes can also spike during the holidays, as scammers target online users who are shopping for holiday deals or sending money via digital payment services such as Venmo or PayPal. Identity theft is particularly common at this time as well when people disclose personal information with multiple vendors throughout their shopping experience.
- Property damage can also become an issue during the holidays when outdoor decorations aren’t monitored closely enough by their owners, making them susceptible to damage or theft by criminals looking for quick opportunities or who just want some extra cash over the holidays.
- Car thefts also tend to go up during this period because vehicles are left parked unattended while people are away spending time with family and friends over the course of the holiday season.
- Other crimes like assaults, domestic violence incidents, and arson-related offenses also tend to increase during the holiday season. This can be linked to more people drinking alcohol, which can lead to volatile situations and reckless behavior.
Overall, everyone needs to take extra precautions during the holiday season to minimize their risk of becoming a victim of crime. People should also be aware of their surroundings at all times and report any suspicious activity to the police as soon as possible.
What Risk Factors Correspond With Holiday Crime Spikes?
Holiday crime spikes can be attributed to a combination of factors, which vary depending on the type of holiday. Some of the most common include:
- Theft from businesses by temporary employees, who may not always be properly screened or trustworthy
- Porch piracy, where packages are stolen during delivery and never reach their intended recipient
- Property damage or theft due to an increase in burglars looking for easy access to presents and valuables
- Vehicle theft and vandalism due to insufficient security measures or carelessness when leaving vehicles unattended with presents still inside
- Decreased response time by police due to an increase in calls for service
- High levels of alcohol consumption, which leads to riskier and reckless behavior
Although these risks often come with the holidays, understanding them can help individuals take precautionary measures such as installing home alarms or taking vehicles and present indoors whenever possible.
How Can Homeowners and Business Owners Best Protect Themselves?
There are a few key steps that both homeowners and business owners can take to help protect themselves from potential criminal activity during holidays with the biggest spikes in crime.
- The first step is to be aware of your local law enforcement’s crime prevention resources. Take advantage of their information on current trends, advisories, and watch programs. It’s important to monitor your area, stay informed on the types of crime that are occurring, and report any suspicious activity.
- Use technology to keep an eye on your property. Install security cameras or video doorbells outside and ensure adequate lighting around your home or business. Smart lighting systems also allow you to remotely control your lights, so you can turn them on and off or change the amount of light they emit if needed. For security cameras: Position them in areas with high visibility, such as entrances and exits, so they can act as a deterrent against criminals. Pay attention to where shadows fall so that the camera captures clear footage even when it’s dark outside.
- Create a security plan that includes both inside and outside checks. Lock all exterior doors and windows overnight and when no one is home or in your business. Make sure to keep your property well-lit at night to deter potential criminals from entering your property. Ensure security cameras are working and invest in HD or 4K Ultra-HD cameras for an added layer of security.
- Consider making a list of emergency contacts you can call in the event of an emergency or suspicious activity. Alert your local police department, post the contact information for your neighborhood watch program and get to know your neighbors so they can help keep an eye on things from their homes as well.
Following these simple steps can help protect your property during holidays with the biggest spikes in crime. Taking proactive measures to enhance security will help ensure safety and reduce the risk of becoming a victim.
Watch Out During the Holidays
Crime is an unfortunate part of life, but it doesn’t have to be. Many business owners and homeowners are surprised to learn that certain holidays can mean bigger crime risks. However, with these expert insights and tips, you can help keep yourself, your family, your business, and your community safe during any holiday season.