Crime down on and around campus, but community must stay vigilant

Crime is down markedly on and around campus this fall compared to last, especially serious crimes against people, according to recent statistics.

The university tracks crime on campus as well as select off-campus areas in six-month increments—Jan. 1-June 30 (spring) and July 1-Dec. 31 (fall). Though the fall season is not yet complete, the numbers are tracking much lower when compared to last fall, said Dick Jamieson, vice president of campus services.

Of note, there has only been one robbery in more than four months of reporting, compared to seven last fall, Jamieson pointed out. The suspect for that lone robbery was arrested immediately.

Additionally, bike thefts are down from 22 last fall to seven this fall, felony thefts are down from 38 to 17, petty thefts are down from 41 to 15 and reports of criminal damage, mischief and vandalism are down from 24 to five.

“We deploy our campus police and  expanded security patrols supported by the University Circle Police Department, so we have a heavy presence on and around campus,” Jamieson said. He also credits the continued focus on crime prevention awareness and the increased use of the Safe Ride program as reasons for decreased crime rates.

In addition, he said, improved technology has helped keep crime down. Digital closed-circuit televisions now provide surveillance of more than 80 percent of campus and targeted near-campus areas, and 95 percent of university buildings are equipped with automated access-control equipment.

Although statistics show the campus area is becoming safer, it’s important to be prepared in case of crime. Jamieson encourages all members of the university community to always report suspicious activity, be aware of their surroundings and take advantage of university safety protocols, such as Safe Ride and emergency phones.

“Given that the university is located in an urban environment, we always have to be aware of the potential for crime and continue to be vigilant,” Jamieson said.