Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/531

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523
A STUDY OF CALMS.

The data for the next five classes of misdemeanors mentioned above were all taken from the blotters in the record room of the New York chief of police. Crime is there classified under 136 different heads, and the arrests for each, recorded for each day. The classes considered by me were studied for periods varying from two to seven years. The figures indicate the total number of arrests made for those periods, by the entire police force of old New York, the present borough of Manhattan.

The terms 'assault and battery' and 'drunkenness' are, I think, self-explanatory. Each arrest for 'insanity' meant that some one had been picked up on the streets in a state of acute mania, or that the police had been called to some house to remove a person in such a condition. In most cases it probably meant an initial attack of the disease, or the beginning of a recurrent attack. Otherwise the person would have been in an asylum, or other authorities than the police would have been appealed to.

To state in the briefest possible manner the seeming influence of calm days upon the distribution of these crimes: The number of males arrested for assault and battery upon such days was 89% of the normal,—by which term I mean the average daily occurrence for the whole period studied; of females for the same crime, 45% of the normal; of males for drunkenness, 77%; of males for insanity, 67%; of females for insanity, 34%. The figures show that there was a deficiency in the occurrence of all these crimes, the magnitude of which may be computed in each case by subtracting the percentage of occurrence from 100%, which is expectancy. In securing the data for suicide, two sources were made use of. In fact it is not solely a study of successful suicide, but of suicidal intent. From the standpoint of our study it is just as valuable a datum from which to work, to know that somebody tried to die at his own hand even though he did not succeed, as to know he was successful in the attempt. An attempt at suicide is a crime and is so recorded in the police records, which were tabulated for a period of five years. This gave us 984 of our data. The remainder were secured by going over some 28,000 death certificates for the same period in the coroner's office. The results showed that but 63% of the normal number of suicides (and unsuccessful attempts) occurred on calm days.

The next class of data given in the list is that of death. It is based upon the record of deaths for all causes in the city for a period of two years. In it we have a notable difference from the crimes and misdemeanors we have been studying, in that the occurrence for calm days was above the normal, being 104%. In this respect it resembles the study of attendance in the public schools, and also the last two classes of data given, those of the 'policemen off duty for sickness' and of