Total crime for the 2013 calendar year increased by about 7.75 percent from the 2012 calendar year, with a 10.9 percent increase in crimes against person. In 2013, 848 total crimes were reported, up from the 787 total crimes in 2012.
In the statistics for the 2012 and 2013 calendar years, forcible sex offenses saw the second-largest percentage jump in relation to the other categories of crime. Thirty-two forcible sex offenses were reported in the 2013 calendar year — an increase of about 88 percent from the 17 that were reported in the 2012 calendar year.
There were 726 crimes against property for the 2013, an increase from the 677 incidents reported in the 2012 calendar year. Theft from auto, one type of crime against property, also increased from the 2012 calendar year to the 2013 calendar year, rising from 40 incidents to 50.
Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said that a task force consisting of personnel from Philadelphia Police, Penn Police and Drexel Police was formed on Thursday to focus specifically on combatting thefts from auto.
For the month of December 2013, the crime total came to 66 incidents, a slight rise from the 62 total crimes that occurred in December 2012.
According to Rush, the overall trends for December 2013 were fairly average.
The number of crimes against person for December 2013 was 12, which was the same number as those reported in December 2012. Total robbery for December 2013 was four, a decrease from the six total robberies that occurred in December 2012.
“Crimes against person, most importantly robbery — and especially robbery with a gun — are our biggest priority and are the area that we’re focusing the most effort on,” Rush said.
While there were zero forcible sex offenses reported in December 2012, five were reported in December 2013.
Rush acknowledged that forcible sex offenses are not reported as often as they occur. She attributed the increase in reports to the University’s campaign to educate the Penn community about this issue. “More people are willing to come forward knowing that their reports will be taken seriously,” Rush added.
In comparison to the statistics from December 2012, thefts from buildings were up by four incidents in December 2013.
“The biggest trend in crime numbers that continues to be problematic is theft from buildings,” Rush said. She added that DPS is working to ensure that outer doors of buildings are secured — meaning that doors will be locked but will be accessible to PennCard holders through card-swipe technology on the exterior of the buildings. People who do not own a PennCard will be directed to a main entrance and gain entry to the building by signing in.
Such systems already exist at several buildings on campus, such as the Graduate School of Education and the School of Social Policy and Practice, among others.
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