University News

Campus crimes decreased in 2010

Senior Staff Writer
Monday, October 10, 2011

Crime on or near campus decreased in 2010, according to the 2011 Annual Security Report released this month. Robbery and motor vehicle theft on and near campus were the only crimes to increase last year, and all other categories decreased or remained the same. The report includes statistics for nine offenses as stipulated by the Uniform Crime Reporting Program.  

The seven robberies reported in 2010 took place on public property, compared to four on public property and one on campus in 2009. Rhode Island’s continuing economic woes may be responsible for the uptick, said Mark Porter, chief of police and director of public safety. The rest of Providence has seen a similar increase in robberies, he said.

On-campus burglaries were down 42 percent last year from the year before, from 67 in 2009 to 39 in 2010, according to the report. Porter attributed this reduction partially to the department’s efforts to make students more aware of the risks involved with leaving laptops unattended and dormitory rooms unlocked. Reminders about laptop thefts and unlocked dorm rooms are regularly included in the department’s campus-wide emails. Increasing participation in the DPS laptop tracking service is another possible factor, Porter said.

Forcible sex offenses saw a slight decrease — from 10 offenses to nine — but Porter said the statistics may not fully reflect the incidence of sex offenses because the crime is frequently underreported. Next month, DPS will make a push to publicize the support and reporting options for victims of sex crimes, he said.

The report also included statistics on drug, alcohol and weapons violations, which include data compiled by both DPS and the Office of Student Life.

Campus drug violations jumped from five to 20, according to the report. Porter said DPS dealt with roughly the same number of drug-related incidents in both years, but incidents in 2010 involved more violators on average than incidents in 2009.  

Most drug, alcohol and weapons violations result in disciplinary referrals.

The University disciplinary process is usually equipped to deal adequately with such offenses, Porter said. But when a situation jeopardizes the health and safety of the community, DPS will make an arrest, he said.

There was one instance of aggravated assault last year and no incidences of homicide, negligent manslaughter, non-forcible sex offenses or arson. The full report can be found on the DPS website.

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