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Campus Crimes Drop Slightly in '93

By Ben Reis
Staff Reporter

The number of serious crimes at MIT dropped slightly between January and June, according to a midyear report released by the Campus Police.

The report for January to June 1993 also indicates that theft continues to be the most frequent campus crime and that the Safe Ride service is serving more students than ever.

"It's difficult to get too deep into trends at this halfway point, but so far the situation is relatively good coming off of the serious crimes that followed the tragic murder last year around this time," said Anne P. Glavin, chief of Campus Police.

Over the six-month period, the Campus Police received 1,043 complaints -- about 100 more than the same six-month period in 1992. This number included eight serious crimes: one assault with dangerous weapon, five assault and battery complaints, and two assault and battery complaints reported by police officers.

The figure of eight serious crimes "reflects crimes which took place on MIT property and not crimes involving members of the MIT community that occurred adjacent to MIT," according to the report. Memorial Drive is actually outside the jurisdiction of the Campus Police, though "MIT Police officers may have been involved in the police response to the scene," according to the report.

The Campus Police made 41 arrests in this time period, matching the number from 1992.

Another fairly frequent complaint was obscene and annoying phone calls, reported by 44 students. The midyear report states that there were seven harassment complaints, and there was one sexual harassment complaint.

Theft is most prevalent crime

Larceny was still the most reported crime, with Glavin calling it "the crime on this campus." So far this year, about $200,000 worth of property has been reported stolen, a good part of it coming from stolen office equipment, especially computers.

Glavin stressed that when students or people in offices plan on purchasing computers or office equipment, "they should think about a security system along with the purchase."

Motor vehicle thefts were down somewhat from last year, but according to Glavin, automobile theft "is still a major concern to the community."

"We are looking to get parking facilities more secure," she said. "We are installing a card-key system at Westgate [Lot] that works with the new electronic cards that students will be using for their dorms." The commuter lot on Vassar Street is the next lot slated for installation of the electronic card-key system.

According to the compiled statistics, more students than ever are using the Safe Ride shuttle service. Glavin said, "Safe Ride has always gone up in ridership since day one." During the first six months of 1993, 76,000 people used Safe Ride, up from 56,000 in all of 1992, she said.

It exploded. Safe Ride is essentially a victim of its own success," Glavin said. All of the Safe Ride vans have been following an exact schedule since the beginning of this school year. But "keeping a timed schedule gets difficult with more and more riders," Glavin said.

While the new timed schedule system and additional vans have improved the shuttle service, Glavin said that in order "for Safe Ride to grow, we'll have to look at alternative systems. It's a wonderful system, but there's a limit. We have reached the limit as to what we can handle as a department."

Also noted in the half-year report, the Campus Police handled 1,210 emergency medical services, which included medical emergencies, ambulance transfers, and medical shuttles. This doubled from 1992's figure of 632.