Thanks to widespread media and social networking coverage, as a population we know quite a bit about what types of crimes are likelier than others to affect us, and how to look out for, and prevent them. Depending on your gender, age group and the areas you frequent, you may be keeping an extra careful eye on your car when you visit places on the wrong side of town, or carrying a military-grade flashlight in your bag as you walk back from lectures at dusk, or perhaps you’ve bought a dog to deter intruders from your home.

This is all extremely helpful and, more to the point, effective in reducing our chances of becoming victims of crime in certain situations. So why limit the factors we take into consideration to merely the personal and geographical ones? It is common knowledge that the most dangerous day in the United States, in terms of your chances of being murdered, is Thanksgiving. You are most likely to die in a traffic accident on Fourth of July. As a pedestrian, you’re most likely to be killed on New Year’s Day.

We can protect ourselves further by looking at the types of crimes which typically happen on a seasonal basis. For example, spring may not be a time of year which many would consider to have elevated dangers. Yet for certain groups, spring is a season of high criminality. This is down to Spring Break. At this time, many youngsters are exposed to alcohol and drugs, often for the first time. The dangers are plenty – intoxication itself can lead to serious medical issues, accidents and vulnerability. For minors engaged in illegal drinking, a conviction of Alcohol Use or Possession by a Minor may be the least of their troubles. DUI manslaughter, assault, sexual battery and rape are all offenses which spike for this age group in spring. The best advice to take is not to break the law, stay with responsible friends and look out for one another.

The words ‘long, hot summer’ have come to be used as a euphemism for the phenomenon of mass violence and civil disobedience that occurs from time to time, especially on hot days. The most destructive riots the country has faced have all taken place in the summer months – from the LA Watts riots of 1965, to the New York Blackout riots that took place in July 197, right through to the shootings of police officers at mass protests in Dallas and Baton Rouge in July 2016 – the summertime isn’t always about waxing down your car and chilling by the pool. If you find yourself caught in a riot and cannot escape, get indoors and barricade all doors and windows. Arm yourself and those with you, with firearms or other weapons, such as an ammonia spray, mace or an improvised flamethrower. Turn out the lights and try to look like nobody is home.

Fall is a welcome time for most law enforcement officers, as crime levels act in accordance with the season’s name – they fall. There have been many studies aimed at discovering the reasons for this, and it is thought that the lower temperatures play a big part in keeping opportunists, criminals and victims off of the streets. As you might expect, the more common types of crime under such circumstances are related to property. Boston police reported a spike in thefts of snow blowers, such as these at Snow Shifts, in the fall of 2015, even before any snow had touched the ground.

Christmas makes houses, apartments, cars and trucks more appealing to thieves, as they know that people tend to stock up on food and goods at that time of year. People are more likely to be carrying large amounts of cash, and their houses will be full of Christmas gifts. It’s also the season of work parties and adults letting their hair down, the consequences of which can turn nasty. Every year, someone will shoot their boss, others will assault each other and some will become the victims of rape, after consuming alcohol and letting loose around people with whom they may have developed problematic relationships. It’s often best not to drink, or just have one and then make your excuses and go home.