Police: Cold weather drives violent crime down, but others up

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's an unlikely pairing: crime and cold weather. But Charlotte Mecklenburg Police say the frigid temps the city saw last week drove certain types of crime down, and others up.

"It kind of drives the crime inside," said Sgt. Jason Helton, who works in the Westover division on the city's west side.

He told WBTV their crime numbers -- particularly-- violent crime took a nosedive last week.

"Our violent crime does take a drastic dip," he revealed. "It does follow the weather."

Even though robberies and shootings dropped, police say other kinds of crimes, like domestic violence spark during cold snaps.

"No different than the holiday season where people get together or they're inside for long periods of time," said Sgt. Helton. "They decide to purchase some alcohol, drink a little bit more because they're not going to work the next day. They get in there and tempers flare and then we do see those domestic assaults."

But while violent crime dropped on the city's west side, criminals targeting the Steele Creek area seemed unfazed by the frigid temps. Police there say they had at least 3 armed robberies last week, all of them at night.

Back to the west side and Sgt. Helton who pointed out there's one other type of crime cold weather can make difficult to stop: drug dealing.

"They tend to deal from residences and things of that nature," he said. "So it does make it a little tougher on us to get out with those people and target those individuals."

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