Aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft and liquor law violations are down on campus, while larceny remains a problem.
In compliance with the Student Right to Know and the Campus Security Act of 1990, the Georgia State Police has released its 2011 campus crime numbers.
The report comes in the shadow of the Atlanta City Counsel’s task force assembled to reduce crime in City of Atlanta college’s campuses.
Crimes like larceny and robbery are constant with previous years—and higher. As reflected in campus crime alerts, larceny is the most reported crime on campus with 382 reported cases this year, up from 378 cases in 2010.
Students leaving items unattended in common areas, like the library, compile most of the cases of theft.
“Its just carelessness,” said Sgt. Sharon Ware of Georgia State Police Department Crime Prevention. “Having the understanding that if you actually walk away from an item and you’re expecting it to be there when you return back is a misconception here on Georgia State property.”
Faculty and staff fail to take precautions to safeguard their possessions, causing theft rates to remain stagnate. Stolen items are also difficult to recover.
“I would say we do have honest people that do see those things around they do turn them in. But nine times out of ten if somebody picks it up they’re normally going to walk away with it and keep it,” Ware said.
Motor vehicle theft has decreased over the last three years. In 2009 there were 30 cars stolen on and off campus. The latest numbers report 10 thefts this year. A student reported their car was stolen from the Turner Field blue lot on Sept. 17.
The report reflects a major decrease in liquor law violations. Violations for the past three years have occurred in residential facilities. The previous number of reported cases in 2010, 202, is down to 107 cases in 2011.
Teaching students the rules is one reason the violation numbers are down, Ware said.
The number of persons actually arrested for their liquor law violation is on the rise. 60 arrests were made, up from 39 in 2010. Charging students has also contributed to lower liquor law referrals.
“Just from the students being aware that we are charging them [has lowered violations]. If they are under the age of 21 they understand that they cannot consume alcohol or things on the property, we also educate them by giving them classes,” Ware said.
Other tools, like cameras installed across campus, have helped police solve crimes.
“We are able to grab the BOLOS [be on the look out] from the camera footage and put that information out to the public also it officers that pictures of that individual so if we come into contact with that individual on the street we can reflect back on that picture and arrested for the charge,” Ware said.
What Georgia State Police want you to know to stay safe
1. Buddy system: an uncomfortable situation could be a dangerous one. Avoid empty houses, parking lots and buildings.
2. Defend yourself: carry a whistle or enroll in a self-defense class. Remember it is illegal to carry weapons on campus and one can easily be used against you.
3. Take the long way: don’t cut through alleys or tunnels. Take a well-lit path.
4. Lock your doors: park cars in well-lit areas and don’t leave any visible items in your vehicle.
5. Be confident: Walking with your head up m aces you look less vulnerable and you will have better visibility of your surroundings.
6. Stay calm: if someone is threatening or yelling at you, back away from the individual and report the ordeal if it occurred in class or on campus.