Report says crime rises
Issue date: 10/9/09 Section: News
According to the report, the number of burglary offenses on-campus has risen from 25 in 2007 to 41 in 2008.
Also, the number of motor vehicle theft offenses has risen from six to 18 over the same period.
The number of disciplinary actions and judicial referrals for liquor law violations has risen from 16 to 26 over the 2007-2008 period.
According to Domenic Ceccanecchio, senior associate vice president for public safety, these trends occurred for a multitude of reasons including students leaving items unattended, which accounts for much of the crime on campus.
Yet Ceccanecchio states that the rise in crimes can be attributed to the success of Public Safety.
"Our goal was and is to make the Department of Public Safety more accessible and user friendly to the University community. It appears that people are more comfortable reporting incidents to Public Safety than they may have been in the past," Ceccanecchio said.
Also, Public Safety has improved its crime data collection processes, meaning more crimes are being tallied, according to Ceccanecchio.
"Unfortunately, most thefts on campus are committed by students against other students," he said.
However, many of the crimes can be attributed to "career criminals" instead of one-time thieves, Ceccanecchio added.
"We have seen an increase in the number of repeat criminal offenders on campus. Our University Police along with the Philadelphia Police and University of Pennsylvania Police have made several arrests. We are all working with the District Attorney's office to keep these career criminals incarcerated," Ceccanecchio said.
According to Ceccanecchio, the repeat offenders are the ones responsible for theft from motor vehicles.
"These are crimes of opportunity, smash and grab thefts usually take only a few seconds to commit and are more profitable for the thieves," he said.
Ceccanecchio also said that the University has encountered a growth of property and population, which in turn attracts those of criminal intent.
"So in a way, we become the victim of our success," Ceccanecchio said.
Many students park their cars in University City.
"When I first wanted to bring my car, my parents were a bit hesitant because they were worried people would try to break in," Sarah Michelson, sophomore biology major said.