Does Crime Spike When There’s A Full Moon?

The belief that full moons negatively affect people’s mental health and behaviour dates back to the Roman Empire. Today, police officers and health professionals still question if full moons increase their workload and studies around the world investigate this question too.

In 2007, Sussex Police in England announced they would deploy more police to counter an increase in alcohol-fuelled violence they believed was linked to full moons.

A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “Research carried out by us has shown a correlation between violent incidents and full moons”

Professor Michał Zimecki from The Polish Academy of Science conducted a review on the effects of the lunar cycle on human and animal behaviour.

Zimecki wrote that physiology is impacted by lunar and circadian rhythms, and that immune responses to the moon could be explained by melatonin and steroid levels.

He also cites research that shows traffic accidents, crimes and suicides appeared to be influenced by the lunar cycle.

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But this study is outweighed by lots of research that disputes this claim, especially here in Australia.

Dr Geoffrey Sheldon from Charles Sturt University examined eight years of data from the Queensland Police Service. He said the data disproved what he had initially believed:

“Finding that there was no increase in calls for service was somewhat confronting for me, as I had been a believer, like most other police officers for my whole career”

The next full moon will be this Sunday October 29th.

So while investigations continue, all we can say is better to be safe than sorry.

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