Sussex Police fall for full moon lunacy

The Sussex police force is going to be putting more officers on the street during full moons because they believe the lunar cycle may be linked to violent behaviour. They cite a comparison between last year’s violent crimes and a graph of the full moons, conducted by Inspector Andy Parr.

Forgive me for thinking that Inspector Andy is unlikely to have the kind of skills in statistical analysis required to tell the difference between significance and synchronicity. At the very least, he should be able to acknowledge that maybe, just maybe, all the research that has gone before, conducted by actual professionals, could trump his informal little study.

According to skepdic, a metastudy conducted in 1996 that looked at over 100 other studies on the moon’s relationship to earthly events (other than tides) concluded that the studies had so far failed to show any reliable or significant correlation between lunar cycles and any of the following:

  • the homicide rate
  •  traffic accidents
  • crisis calls to police or fire stations
  • domestic violence
  • births of babies
  • suicide
  • major disasters
  • casino payout rates
  • assassinations
  • kidnappings
  • aggression by professional hockey players
  • violence in prisons
  • psychiatric admissions
  • agitated behavior by nursing home residents
  • assaults
  • gunshot wounds
  • stabbings
  • emergency room admissions
  • behavioral outbursts of psychologically challenged rural adults
  • lycanthropy
  • vampirism
  • alcholism
  • sleepwalking
  • epilepsy

But I guess they didn’t specifically add ‘aggressive behavior in drinkers in the seaside city of Brighton and Hove’, so it’s hardly an exhaustive study.

7 Responses to “Sussex Police fall for full moon lunacy”

  1. residentRsole Says:

    I think that he should put more officers where the illegal immigrants hang out.

  2. atheistperspective Says:

    Well that’s one idea I guess. Personally I’d put them all in Croydon.

    As for the article, crazy talk! It just goes to show that critical thinking is a skill in decline….

  3. […] (She also makes mention of everything in the post title, but – well, sort of in context.) Source […]

  4. Wouldn’t it just be easier to issue everyone with tinfoil hats?

  5. as long as it’s not an aluminum beanie – i hear those are really part of a government plot to amplify the brain control mojo.

  6. hang on a second – does your list inclusion mean that they actually had a sample set of the lycanthrope and vampire populations? ’cause i think i want to get in touch with whoever did the stat gathering.

  7. Con-Tester Says:

    Sounds to me like the good Inspector Andy Parr is a prime canditate for recruitment into the Unification Church

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