Journal article Open Access

The Relationship Between Temperature and Crime on the Cape Flats of South Africa

Francois H Schutte; Gregory D Breetzke; Ian Edlstein

This study examined associations between temperature and several categories of crime in two diverse township communities on the Cape Flats of South Africa, namely Nyanga and Manenberg. Analysis of variance (ANOVA) is initially used to identify whether there are significant differences in the mean amount of daily crimes (murder, assault, robbery, and rape) by season. Next, multiple regression analysis is used to determine whether any statistically significant relationships exist between temperature and crime at the daily level while controlling for a number of confounders. Overall we found evidence that increasing temperature is associated with an increase in the magnitude of assault crimes at both the seasonal and daily level. However, most of the results for murder, robbery and rape were non-significant and/or inconsistent across the two township communities. It is anticipated that through the results of this research we can develop a better understanding of crime on the Cape Flats of South Africa, and in doing so, make a small but meaningful contribution in attempting to alleviate and prevent this scourge.

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