The University’s Department of Public Safety announced
yesterday a decrease from 2002 to 2003 in the number of major
crimes reported on campus, in all categories except one.

Statistics released in the 2004-2005 Campus Safety Handbook
break down crimes by type and number of reported instances, and
show that among the largest decreases was burglary, both in
residence halls and in other campus buildings.

The only category that showed an increase was forcible sexual
offenses.

DPS has jurisdiction over all University-owned buildings,
residence halls and property including the Diag. Statistics include
all reported crimes that occurred within DPS jurisdiction, which
does not include sorority or fraternity houses, or off-campus
housing.

On campus, 150 reports of burglary were reported to DPS in 2002,
while in 2003 only 67 were reported, for a total drop of 55
percent.

Within residence halls, there was a 52 percent decrease in
reported burglaries, which University Housing spokesman Alan Levy
said is due in part to DPS efforts and new security initiatives
installed in the halls.

“The drop in residence hall crime is related to the action
that University Housing took in terms of installing of the
automatic locks on student rooms, combined with effective
patrolling by DPS and housing security,” Levy said.

He added that none of the DPS reports of home invasion occurred
in any residence hall room that had already been installed with the
new electronic locks.

Installation of automatic locks was recently completed in all
residence hall rooms and bathrooms, and video surveillance cameras
were recently added outside residence halls. Levy said the
installations in total cost about $4 million and have been in
progress for the past three years. Levy said nearly 6,000 room and
bathroom doors have received the new locks.

“That project is complete with the exception of the last
repairs making sure everything is working according to
specification,” Levy said.

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said there are still some halls
scheduled for installation of cameras.

In addition to the new locks and video surveillance, a 24-hour
controlled-access program was implemented in 2003 requiring
students to always use an Mcard to enter a residence hall.

In the statement released yesterday, DPS Director William Bess
also attributed the drop in reported crime to increased DPS
patrolling.

“In addition to the residence hall initiatives, we also
increased foot and bike patrols by our police officers, and we
arrested at least three individuals who we believe greatly
contributed to our 2002 statistics,” Bess said in the
statement.

Liquor law arrests and citations on campus dropped from 485
reports in 2002 to 465 in 2003. Though DPS also experienced drops
in arson and aggravated assault reports, there was an increase in
reported forcible sexual offenses, which rose from 15 reports in
2002 to 17 reports in 2003.

“All nine forcible rapes or assault with an object
involved acquaintance situations. So that type of thing is hard to
equate to the campus environment, but it certainly is an unwanted
situation,” Brown said.

Brown added that out of the 17 reports of forcible sexual
offenses — which includes rape along with other types of
sexual assault — only five involved persons who did not have
any prior acquaintance to the victim, and the offense was
classified as unwanted fondling in all five reports.

She also said DPS works with the University’s Sexual
Assault Prevention and Awareness Center in order to provide help to
victims of sexual assault.

“Any time any DPS officer encounters a sexual assault or
even a domestic violence situation, they always refer them to the
appropriate service providers — including SAPAC — even
if it’s an acquaintance situation,” Brown said.

SAPAC could not be reached for comment yesterday about the
statistics.

 

Crackdown on crime

In 2003 67 burglaries were reported on campus, compared to 150
the year before, according to the 2004-2005 Campus Safety
Handbook.

University Housing attributes the drop in reported crime to
increased DPS patrolling efforts and automatic locks installed on
all residence hall room and bathroom doors.

 

Alcohol-related incidents dropped from 485 reports in 2002 to
465 in 2003.

 

All nine reported forcible rapes or assaults with an object
involved an acquaintance situation, and overall most forcible
sexual offenses also did.

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