Sunday Murders, Morning Bike Thefts: The Data On When Crimes Occur

In Colombia, killings happen more often on Sundays. Most big city crimes in the U.S. happen during the day, though violence is a night-time thing. Weekends account for more than half of illegal acts in Cape Town, South Africa. A global glimpse at the "when" of crime.

photo of a police car at night

We see patterns that both meet and defy expectations

Alidad Vassigh

BOGOTÁ — They call it the "criminal clock." The Colombian NGO Excellence in Justice Corporation (Corporación excelencia en la justicia, CEJ) recently published a study of or the hours of the day and days of the week when different types of crimes happen.

Some of the findings might not surprise: murder is an evening crime, though it occurs disproportionately on Sunday. Meanwhile, Colombian thieves are busiest in the mornings. Elsewhere in the world, we also see patterns that both meet and defy expectations.

Gathering both police and court data for the first eight months of 2021, the Bogota-based organization found that certain crimes are more likely to happen at night, and others during daylight hours. The aim was to "determine the pattern of criminal conduct" as intelligence for the police, says CEJ's director Hernando Herrera.

Cell phones stolen later

The statistics showed just over 16,850 personal thefts in the eight-month period, 30% of which happened between 6 a.m. and noon — though cell phones were stolen more often between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. However one-fourth of all burglaries (85 a day in Colombia) happened between midnight and 4 a.m.

Just over 32% of all motorbike thefts happened between six and 11 p.m., while bicycles have tended to be stolen in the morning (20% between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m.).

Out of 9,185 homicides reported for the eight-month period (38 a day, up from 31 for those months in 2020), 40% happened between 6 p.m. and midnight, and more often on Sunday (55%).

A police officer in Santiago, Chile

Matias Basualdo/ZUMA

Criminal hours in Mexico and U.S.

CEJ also counted just over 78,400 cases of "domestic violence." Of these, 27% happened between midnight and one a.m. (after dinner), and 15% around breakfast time (8 -11 a.m.). The figures showed a slight increase in these of just over 1% from 2020, though no figures were given for 2019, the year before the pandemic that entailed weeks of confinement in many big cities.

Colombia's figures show similarities and differences compared to patterns elsewhere. Reports from 2019 indicated that crime in big cities in the United States was more likely to take place during the day, though more serious violent acts like murder, assault and rape were concentrated in the evening.

Police reports from Chile have shown a similar pattern to killings in Colombia's: more often on Sunday, and in the hours after midnight.

In Mexico City, a report from 2018 found the 11 p.m.-midnight slots to be the choice hour for killings, though most firearm injuries had reportedly happened between seven and eight in the morning. Another report from 2020, put the murder hours in that megalopolis at between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Cape Town's dangerous weekends

Globally, data on the "when" of crime is rather limited. National statistics tend to focus more on location, demographics and other factors driving lawlessness. Still, some localities have made a point of tracking the crime clock. In Cape Town, South Africa, stats gathered in 2018 show that more deaths occur on weekends than during the working week.

Provincial police commissioner, Khombinkosi Jula said that 53% of deaths happen on Saturday or Sunday, with 47% on the other five days of the week. This percentage was culled from statistics on the primary motives for murder in the Cape province: gang-related crimes account for 22% of deaths, robberies account for 8.1%, domestic violence for 5.1%, taxi violence for 2.1%, and arguments (that turn violent) for 13.2%.

The limited data notwithstanding, one can surmise that the when of a crime is also linked to the why.

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Pro-life and Pro-abortion Rights Protests in Washington

Anne-Sophie Goninet, Jane Herbelin and Bertrand Hauger

👋 Håfa adai!*

Welcome to Thursday, where new Omicron findings arrive from South Africa, abortion rights are at risk at the U.S. Supreme Court and Tyrannosaurus rex has got some new competition. From Germany, we share the story of a landmark pharmacy turned sex toy museum.

[*Chamorro - Guam]


This is our daily newsletter Worldcrunch Today, a rapid tour of the news of the day from the world's best journalism sources, regardless of language or geography.

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• COVID update: South Africa reports a higher rate of reinfections from the Omicron variant than has been registered with the Beta and Delta variants, though researchers await further findings on the effects of the new strain. Meanwhile, the UK approves the use of a monoclonal therapy, known as sotrovimab, to treat those at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.The approval comes as the British pharmaceutical company, GSK, separately announced the treatment has shown to “retain activity” against the Omicron variant. Down under, New Zealand’s reopening, slated for tomorrow is being criticized as posing risks to its under-vaccinated indigenous Maori.

• Supreme Court poised to gut abortion rights: The U.S. Supreme Court signaled a willingness to accept a Republican-backed Mississippi law that would bar abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, even in cases of rape or incest. A ruling, expected in June, may see millions of women lose abortion access, 50 years after it was recognized as a constitutional right in the landmark Roe v. Wade case.

• Macri charged in Argentine spying case: Argentina’s former president Mauricio Macri has been charged with ordering the secret services to spy on the family members of 44 sailors who died in a navy submarine sinking in 2017. The charge carries a sentence of three to ten years in prison. Macri, now an opposition leader, says the charges are politically motivated.

• WTA suspends China tournaments over Peng Shuai: The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) announced the immediate suspension of all tournaments in China due to concerns about the well-being of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai, and the safety of other players. Peng disappeared from public view after accusing a top Chinese official of sexual assault.

• Michigan school shooting suspect to be charged as an adult: The 15-year-old student accused of killing four of his classmates and wounding seven other people in a Michigan High School will face charges of terrorism and first-degree murder. Authorities say the suspect had described wanting to attack the school in cellphone videos and a journal.

• Turkey replaces finance minister amid economic turmoil: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan appointed a strong supporter of his low-interest rate drive, Nureddin Nebati, as Turkey’s new finance minister.

• A battle axe for a tail: Chilean researchers announced the discovery of a newly identified dinosaur species with a completely unique feature from any other creatures that lived at that time: a flat, weaponized tail resembling a battle axe.


South Korean daily Joong-ang Ilbo reports on the discovery of five Omicron cases in South Korea. The Asian nation has broken its daily record for overall coronavirus infections for a second day in a row with more than 5,200 new cases. The variant cases were linked to arrivals from Nigeria and prompted the government to tighten border controls.



In the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, a reward of 10,000 yuan ($1,570) will be given to anyone who volunteers to take a COVID-19 test and get a positive result, local authorities announced on Thursday on the social network app WeChat.


Why an iconic pharmacy is turning into a sex toy museum

The "New Pharmacy" was famous throughout the St. Pauli district of Hamburg for its history and its long-serving owner. Now the owner’s daughter is transforming it into a museum dedicated to the history of sex toys, linking it with the past "curing" purpose of the shop, reports Eva Eusterhus in German daily Die Welt.

💊 The story begins in autumn 2018, when 83-year-old Regis Genger stood at the counter of her pharmacy and realized that the time had come for her to retire. At least that is the first thing her daughter Anna Genger tells us when we meet, describing the turning point that has also shaped her life and that of her business partner Bianca Müllner. The two women want to create something new here, something that reflects the pharmacy's history and Hamburg's eclectic St. Pauli quarter (it houses both a red light district and the iconic Reeperbahn entertainment area) as well as their own interests.

🚨 Over the last few months, the pharmacy has been transformed into L'Apotheque, a venture that brings together art and business in St. Pauli's red light district. The back rooms will be used for art exhibitions, while the old pharmacy space will house a museum dedicated to the history of sex toys. Genger and Müllner want to show that desire has always existed and that people have always found inventive ways of maximizing pleasure, even in times when self-gratification was seen as unnatural and immoral, as a cause of deformities.

🏩 Genger and Müllner want the museum to show how the history of desire has changed over time. The art exhibitions, which will also center on the themes of physicality and sexuality, are intended to complement the exhibits. They are planning to put on window displays to give passers-by a taste of what is to come, for example, British artist Bronwen Parker-Rhodes's film Lovers, which offers a portrait of sex workers during lockdown.

➡️


"I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never."

— U.S. actor Alec Baldwin spoke to ABC News, his first interview since the accident that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of the movie Rust last October. The actor said that although he was holding the gun he didn’t pull the trigger, adding that the bullet “wasn't even supposed to be on the property.”

✍️ Newsletter by Anne-Sophie Goninet and Jane Herbelin

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