UR Security has issued its annual Think Safe report, publishing statistics of crime reported on university property for the 2003 calendar year, and plans to distribute around 30,000 copies of the study throughout the UR community in the coming days.

The statistics, which UR Security collected from local law enforcement agencies, campus authorities such as the Dean of Students’ Office, proxy reports from people with confidential knowledge and its own records, remained largely unchanged, except in a few categories.

“There were really no large trends,” Associate Dean of Students in charge of discipline Matt Burns said. “What interested me the most was the decreases.”

The number of referrals for liquor law violations on the River and South campuses, for example, has greatly decreased since 2001. While there were 331 referrals in 2001, only 142 were reported in 2003. Additionally, the number of referrals for drug abuse has decreased to its lowest level since 2001 with 67 referrals on the River and South campuses.

“These numbers were actually a surprise to us,” Director of UR Security Walter Mauldin said. “We’ll have to watch this close again this year.”

“I think it’s a hopeful sign in that we’ve been working closely with [University] Health Services,” Dean of Students Jody Asbury said. “I’m hopeful [our efforts] are having an impact.”

Burns, who as worked with Health Educator Nancy Reynolds of UHS and Senior Chemical Dependency Counselor Mike Kemp-Schneider of the University Counseling Center in enacting programs designed to educate students about substance abuse such as AlcoholEdu and Second Chance, says that the decrease in alcohol and drug referrals may be a result of these programs, but cautions, “You can only postulate at this point.”

Reynolds and Kemp-Schneider could not be reached for comment.

“One of the things that we have to consider is that [the programs] might be working,” Burns said. “Another possibility is just that it could be an anomaly.”

Continuing, he said, “The system that exists right now is doing an excellent job of identifying students who need more than casual warnings.”

Motor Vehicle Thefts

The Think Safe report shows an increase in motor vehicle thefts and attempts since 2001. While there were 14 incidents on university property in 2001, the number increased to 25 in 2002. In 2003, 28 of the 43 motor vehicle thefts and attempts that occurred on university property occurred on the River and South campuses.

“We are experiencing our share of a phenomena of what’s happening in the Rochester area,” Mauldin said, noting that UR has one of the largest concentrations of cars in Monroe County.

Over the past three years, the national and Rochester city crime rates -the amount of incidents per 100,000 people – for motor vehicle theft have increased, while the same rates for New York State have decreased since 2001, according to the Uniform Crime Report compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The combined rate of motor vehicle thefts in Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne Counties decreased between 2001 and 2002, but rose from 280.7 per 100,000 people to 446.9 in 2003.

In between 2001 and 2003, the national rate of motor vehicle thefts rose from 430.5 to 433.4 per 100,000 people. Over the same period of time, the rate of motor vehicle thefts in Rochester city rose from 1,051.4 to 1,580.5 per 100,000 people.

“We’re seeing an increase [in the community] and the university is not immune to that,” Mauldin said.

Burns agrees. “It’s a reflection of the community in which we live,” he said.

Burglary

The number of incidents of burglary decreased between 2002 and 2003, but a higher percentage of incidents involved the use of force in 2003. The number of incidents in 2003 – 74 – remains higher than it was in 2001, when 54 instances of burglary were reported.

“It’s a reason to raise an eyebrow,” Burns said. “Most of these are student to student. Almost all of our [crimes] are student to student.”

“It’s a key component,” Mauldin said, agreeing with Burns. “We are a pretty huge community, and one does covet the goods of a neighbor.”

Additional reporting by Emily Diehm and Cyrus Levesque.

Schnee can be reached at cschnee@campustimes.org.



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