WILMINGTON -- As the temperature falls so does the area's crime rate. The people who tend to hear about crime first say the weather changes behavior more than you might think. In one day alone, the New Hanover County 911 dispatch center receives hundreds of calls. Calls range from a report of a burglary to homicide. Our recent cold weather appears to be changing that. The cold weather tends to keep people on the inside, and for those who plan to do any wrong, it may even make them think twice. 911 dispatcher Pam Graham says as the temperature falls, crime calls drop off dramatically as well. Instead the weather opens the door to calls on indoor issues -- like fires, or domestic disputes. Graham said, "With the cold weather we've had the pass couple of nights, I would say they stay in a lot more, which gives us more calls on domestics." 911 dispatch supervisor Larry Godley said, "Husband and wife come together, they don't have chance to go outside and cool off, tensions flare up and we get increased calls for domestic situations." More and more calls have also been coming in for accidents caused by icy road conditions. Though the cold weather could be deterring some criminals, Godley says won't stop determined trouble markers. He said, "Your serious crimes they will still happen, but your piety thieves they'll say it's not worth it." Many crimes do occur out of opportunity, so remember to never let your guard down. Fire officials also want you to keep in mind that even though the statewide burn ban has been lifted, it is still in effect in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties. Dry, cold weather does increase fire dangers, so continue to keep that in mind no matter which county you live in.
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