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Updated 9:00 AM October 13, 2004
 

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Reported on-campus crime drops in 2003

On-campus crime reported in 2003 at the University dropped from 2002 in all but one major crime category, Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials announced Oct. 5. Enhanced security measures implemented in the residence halls during 2003 were credited with much of the crime reduction.

On-campus robberies fell 69 percent, arson 59 percent, burglaries 55 percent and aggravated assaults 41 percent.

The one category that increased was forcible sexual offenses, which went from 15 to 17. This category includes forcible rapes, sexual assault with an object and forcible fondling.

"We are very encouraged that criminal incidents on our campus fell in almost every category from 2002 to 2003," says DPS Director William Bess. "However, we continue to be concerned about the reports of sexual assaults, including acquaintance rape and unwanted touching. We're hopeful that this year's campaign by
U-M's Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center will raise awareness and reduce these incidents."

The statistics, which were released in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, show on-campus burglaries dropped from 150 in 2002 to 67 in 2003, including a reduction in the residence halls alone from 100 in 2002 to 48 in 2003. Additionally, on-campus robberies dropped from 13 to four, on-campus aggravated assaults from 17 to 10, arsons from 17 to seven and motor vehicle thefts from 17 to 16.

Enhanced security initiatives implemented in the residence halls in 2003 included a 24-hour controlled-access program, which requires that external hall doors be locked 24 hours a day; increased security and police patrols; regular door-to-door informational campaigns by housing security and police officers; installation of automatic door locks on restrooms and individual room doors; and installation of surveillance cameras in building entrances.

"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 says. "But public safety is everyone's responsibility. Without the campus community's cooperation and attentiveness to personal and property safety, we would not have realized this success."

Arrests and citations for other violations, not including driving offenses, also fell—on-campus liquor law violations dropped from 485 to 465, drug law violations from 66 to 36 and weapon law violations from 9 to 4. Additionally, larcenies dropped 10 percent, from 1,387 to 1,244.

"This attention to personal and property safety is an ongoing process, however," Bess says. "Since our community population changes each year, our education and prevention efforts must be given our continued attention."

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