When are criminals active during the day? The Crimes at Night: Analyzing Police Incident Reports in Major Cities reveals that violent crimes occur most often at night. 

In 2017, an estimated 1,247,321 violent crimes occurred nationwide, a decrease of 0.2 percent from the 2016 estimate, according to FBI data. 

More than half of police incidents took place during the day:

  • Larceny/theft, drug violations, simple assaults, and property crimes were slightly more likely to happen while the sun was out, but more violent crimes such as driving while impaired, murder, rape/sexual assault, and robbery were more frequently reported at night.


Percentage of Police Incident Reports, by Offense Type
Offense At Night Percentage During the Day Percentage
DWI/DUI 87% 13%
Murder & Negligent Manslaughter 65% 35%
Rape/Sexual Assault 59% 41%
Robbery 56% 44%
Aggravated Assault 54% 46%
Motor Vehicle Theft 51% 49%
Burglary 50% 50%
Property Crime 48% 52%
Simple Assault 47% 53%
Drug Violation 43% 57%
Larceny/Theft 40% 60%


Police incidents tend to happen between Monday and Friday. 

  • Friday experienced the highest peak in known crime reports during the day, with an average of 755 police incidents per 10,000 residents. Alternatively, Sunday had the fewest incidents during the day – an average of 595 per every 10,000 individuals.
  • When are violent crimes most likely to happen? Unfortunately, midnight was the peak hour for violent crimes like rape and sexual assault, while 2 a.m. was the ideal time to stay off the roads – DWI/DUI police incidents happened the most then.
  • Murder peaked at 9 p.m. and aggravated assault peaked just an hour after.