Study says crime increases during fall and winter; El Paso stands apart

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POSTED: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 11:42pm

UPDATED: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 11:04am

New research shows the time shift actually leads to an increase in crime, but according to officials, that is not the case here in the borderland.
Daylight savings time is over and as it gets darker earlier outside, University researchers out of Virginia claim there's a large increase in street crime, especially robberies.

"Where somebody gets held up for their IPod, their cell phone, their purse snatched in the parking lots," said Darrel Petry, with the El Paso Police Department. "Criminals don't want to be seen. For the most part, don't want to be caught.”

The study suggests that robbery rates will actually increase by 7 percent overall because of the one extra hour of darkness.

"It gives them an incentive you know, gives them an extra hour to do what they want to do," said one El Pasoan.

But Petry said that does not seem to be the case in El Paso. In fact, there has been a 3% decrease in robberies from last year.

"We have people watching out for themselves and what I mean by that, people are trying not to become victims of crime," said Petry.

Most people we talked to didn't agree with the study.

"I'm a runner, so I go out at night and I run and I've never felt unsafe. Crime is gonna happen regardless of whether its daylight or dark outside," said

Another person commented on El Paso's crime ranking.

"El Paso is one of the safest cities in the United States," said Jorge Argulo.

But that's not to say crime doesn't happen and there are ways to make up for that lost hour of daylight.

"Some exterior lighting is one of the least expensive and most effective ways that an individual can protect their property or home," said Petry.

The study also claimed that daylight saving time across all time zones reduced robbery by 51 %, murder by 43% and rape by 56 % in a three-week period during the "extra" hour of evening daylight.
 

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