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Half-Year Police Report Shows Slight Decrease in Campus Crime

By Shang-Lin Chuang

On-campus crime in the first half of the year has decreased greatly compared to a year ago, according to the Campus Police mid-year report. Fewer larcenies, calls for service, and obscene or annoying phone calls were reported.

"The reduction is a very good sign, but with crime rate you will always see some type of fluctuation," said Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin. "Hopefully, it was because of good security practices and good crime prevention techniques."

Although it is still the biggest problem on campus, the number of thefts has declined from 475 in 1993 to 213 in 1994. The total value of stolen property decreased by more than 30 percent, while the value of recovered property increased 300 percent.

"Again, things like this vary from year to year," Glavin said. "The investigation effort of the officers may have something to do with [the decrease], but there are many variables associated with it," she said.

"MIT is in a densely populated urban area in which some of the crimes are bound to overlap into the campus area," Glavin said. "To think that we can eliminate them altogether is quite unrealistic," she said.

"The best thing that students can do is to practice good crime prevention and be constantly aware of where they are and what they are doing. Little things like that do add up and contribute to the protection of personal property and safety," Glavin said.

The number of calls for service fell by more than 25 percent, from 1,043 last year to 768 this year. Although the number of calls can be used to provide a rough picture of the crime rates on campus, "there is no real correlation," Glavin said.

There were only 28 arrests made by mid-1994, compared to the 41 arrests made by mid-1993.

Serious crimes unchanged

The number of serious crimes against the person category has been consistent for the past several years. This year there were nine assaults - four aggravated and five simple.

In addition to the statistics on crime, Campus Police also reported that Safe Ride usage increased by 45 percent to 96,463 rides this year.

"Every year the number of riders goes up and up. But as I have said before, Safe Ride is a victim of its own success," Glavin said. "It is difficult for Safe Ride to accommodate so many riders, and then we run into the problem of waiting time," she said.

Campus Police is not currently planning to add any more vans to the four already in service. "There will always be a demand and you have to draw the line somewhere because there is no endless pot of money," Glavin said.

The report also said that Campus Police handled 1,043 emergency medical services by mid-year. These included medical emergencies, ambulance transfers, and medical shuttles.

Campus Police distributed 172 crime prevention notices in the time period. "There is ample opportunity for the MIT community to learn about crime prevention and hopefully the community will be more aware and put these practices to use," Glavin said.