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Updated 1:00 PM June 30, 2003
 

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Locks, cameras help to reduce crime in residence halls

The University's efforts to make residence halls safer are working, Vice President for Student Affairs E. Royster Harper told the Board of Regents June 19.

The collective efforts of University Housing and the Department of Public Safety (DPS) have led to a dramatic decrease in incidents of breaking and entering and peeping toms, she said.

"We're really pleased at the headway we've made over the past year," she said.

During the 2001-02 academic year, she said, there were 99 breaking and entering and 14 peeping tom incidents. In 2002-03, those numbers dropped to 35 and one.

"The 2002-03 figures represent a 64 percent and a 93 percent decline, respectively, in the two categories of crime we most focused on reducing this past year," Harper said.
"We're really pleased at the headway we've made over the past year." —E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs

The installation of new electronic locks and video cameras contributed to the improvement, she said. Harper noted that after the new electronic locks were installed in East Quad in January, there were no reports of a breaking and entering into student rooms for the remainder of the academic year.

The cameras helped solve some of the breaking-and-entering cases, said William Bess, director of DPS. The department's investigative work has led to seven arrests connected to 11 of the home invasions and one arrest in the peeping tom case, Harper said.

Installation of new automatic electronic locks on all student room and bathroom doors is continuing and is scheduled for completion in winter term 2004. Digital video recording systems are operational at all exterior entrances of East and South Quads, and a contractor will install them at all other halls, Harper said.

"While we feel very good about the decline in these important crime categories during the past academic year, we know it is important that we not become complacent or satisfied with where we are," Harper said. "We will continue to remain vigilant in pursuing all reasonable opportunities to further reduce criminal activity in and around residence halls."

"We're really pleased at the headway we've made over the past year."
E. Royster Harper, vice president for student affairs

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