Australians may not enjoy the sometimes disgusting heat we’re subjected to from December to February each year but we have, for the most part, come to accept it. Now, scientific study has proven that, in addition to sweat patches, tropical fruit and shark attacks, we have something else to look forward to in summer: rising murder rates.
According to news.com.au, a recent study of Darwin residents revealed that there’s a definite pattern to the way murder occurs in the summer months. In fact, it’s so predictable that the study has narrowed it down to a day and time of the week when murder is most likely to occur: Thursday night is peak murder time, according to the figures, and Saturday morning isn’t too far behind.
There are actually more murderers than there are murder victims, due to the fact that many people becoming accomplices to the crime.
Domestic violence can be linked to almost half of all murders in Australia, with women the most common victims. However, according to the study, men are most at risk overall, both in terms of being murdered and becoming a murderer. Younger generations (men aged 15 to 24) are more likely to murder someone than those over the age of 65, who are twice as likely to be killed as to kill.
Heat isn’t the only contributing factor; a rise in alcohol consumption over the festive season also impacts the numbers.
Though the thought of an annual murder spike is concerning, the utter predictability also means that it can be easy to prevent. More than 100 people took part in the study, and academics Sue Coleman and Mary Morris found that “something as simple as the availability of air conditioning reduced physical aggression and hostility”.