Verify: Does crime increase during a full moon?

Verify: Does crime increase during the full moon?

SPOKANE, Wash. – The full moon will be in full force on Wednesday night and while it is a beautiful sight, it has also been a source of superstitions for generations.

Law enforcement and emergency responders have said they brace for busy nights whenever there is a full moon.  

KREM 2 verified if the superstitions are true.

First, KREM 2 referenced the Farmer’s Almanac and picked four full moons from 2016; February 22, April 21, August 18 and December 13.

These dates were then sent to the Spokane County 911 Call Center to see if responders noticed a spike in calls on those days.

Compared to the same day two weeks later, three of the four chosen dates saw higher call numbers by an average of 116.

However, the last full moon date, December 13, had 276 fewer calls than the same day two weeks later.

KREM 2 then turned to Dr. Eric Chudler, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington. Chudler has compiled dozens of studies on the full moon and its impact on human behavior.

“The overwhelming evidence suggests that there is no relationship between those abnormal behaviors and the phase of the moon. When these things happen and you just happen to notice that the moon is out at 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, you notice it and assign blame to it,” said Chudler. “But, the same things happen at other times of the month and so you don’t assign blame to other particular times of the phase of the moon.”

Knowing that the full phone is still a superstition among law enforcement and first responders, KREM 2 turned to the Spokane Police Department to see if they were aware of the superstitions and if it impacted their operations.

“I’ve heard of it. I can tell you we don’t necessarily adjust staffing levels based on lunar cycles. There’s no predictability to it,” said Spokane Police Officer Shane Phillips. “I think that’s one of the challenges of being a police officer, you can’t really let down and bank on wife’s tales. You kind of just have to be ready for whatever.”

Even though a few studies seem to show links, the complete body of research shows others.

In conclusion, KREM 2 verified this claim as false; Crime does not increase when there is a full moon. 

© 2017 KARE-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment