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Time of Day/Day of Week

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Previous research finds that most street burglaries occur during the evening and nighttime, a pattern that was also found to be true for Portland. The above graph illustrates that a disproportionate number of crimes happen between 8 pm and 2 am. The early daytime hours between 5am and 10 am account for the lowest number occurrences with street robbery.

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The frequency of street robberies may also vary according to the day of week. Over the past 10 years more street robberies happened on Fridays and Saturdays than on other days.

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To assess for more refined variations in robberies by time of day and day of week, we produced a matrix displaying the offense counts from 2001 to 2010. Cells colored green represent day/time combination that had below average robbery counts. Grey cells represent average offense counts, yellow cells represent above average offense counts and red cells represent well above average counts - that is, at least two standard deviations above the average. The matrix shows distinct “hot times” Friday and Saturday nights spilling over into the early morning hours on Sundays.

While all of the data presented above suggest that certain times of day and days of week are “riskier” than others, these analyses are not able to control for differences in the underlying population at risk during each distinct period. For example, if there were 1,000 people out on Saturday nights at 11pm and 77 robberies happened the actual rate for victimization would be 77 per 1,000. Compare this to a hypothetical morning time of 6:00am on Tuesdays. If there were 7 robberies during this time but only 100 people on the street the rate would be 70 per 1,000, or about the same level of risk as the evening time. The point here is that data regarding the denominators, number of people present, is not available. As such, we cannot be absolutely certain that your individual risk for experiencing street robbery is truly higher at night and on weekends. Most likely this is the case, but the present data are suggestive only of this pattern.