Huffpost New York

NYC Snowstorm Upside: A Great Deterrent Against Crime

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It seems that all it takes to keep criminals at bay is a record-breaking blizzard that cripples the city.

During the recent Christmastime blizzard-snowmageddon, violent crime plummeted 71% compared to a year ago in the same period. The Daily News reports:

Department figures show sharp drops in major felony crimes in seven categories, including an 80% decrease in reported rapes, a 74% decrease in burglaries and an 81% decrease in auto theft, during the four days after the blizzard, beginning Monday, Dec. 27.

"People are staying off the streets," said police historian Thomas Reppetto told the Daily News. "It's always been said in police work that snow, ice and freezing temperatures are among the best crime preventers."

It's a shame that the cold snap didn't last all year, because murder rates soared by 13% in 2010 compared to numbers in 2009, The New York Post reports.

As of Dec. 31, there were 532 murders, up 13 percent from 2009. Rape, robbery and felony assault were all also up, but overall crime was down 2 percent.

While that may sound alarming, historically 2010 had the fourth lowest murder rate since 1962.