Fling incidents see 27.5-percent drop
Rainy conditions Saturday likely helped minimize incidents, DPS says
April 18, 2011, 3:14 am · Updated April 18, 2011, 12:00 am·
Amid block parties, barbeques and a concert, overall crime during Spring Fling decreased 27.5 percent compared to last year, according to statistics provided by the Division of Public Safety.
Hospital cases and disturbance complaints went down, and DPS recorded no arrests for the weekend.
The improvement in crime totals is owed in part to fewer reports of disturbances and loud parties, which went from 21 incidents in 2010 to 8 incidents this year — a 69.1 percent decrease.
The torrential downpour on Saturday likely helped keep the numbers to a minimum, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
What are normally Fling-packed streets during most years were empty this time around. By the time the rain stopped on Saturday night, Rush said, the parties could not reach higher levels of noise or crowding.
Another major factor for the lower crime rates may have been the College Green carnival’s relocation into Houston Hall, where alcoholic beverages were generally replaced with water, Rush explained.
“The fact that the carnival was so successful, that you don’t really need to go to a bar or an off-campus party to have fun” was great, she said.
Only a few other “peculiar” incidents from Fling are still under investigation, Rush said.
Two male college students, unaffiliated with Penn, allegedly had their wallets stolen in the area around 39th and Baltimore streets. The first theft occurred around 5:30 p.m. Friday night, and the other around 7:30 p.m. the same evening.
One of the men, Rush said, was punched in the face before his possessions were taken.
Rush was also pleased with the turnout of assigned sections at the Spring Fling concert.
“[Penn Police Captain Gerald Leddy] said it went really, really well. People had a better time” because the crowd was kept more organized, Rush said. Concert attendants “didn’t have [other people] jumping in their seats,” she said, adding that there was less confusion and aggravation.
Another new concert rule — which prohibited unaffiliated minors from attending the concert without a Penn student — also helped with the crime decrease, Rush said, although several incidents involving non-Penn students were still reported.
An “after-action meeting” will critique the results of this Spring Fling, Rush said. It will also determine whether or not the assigned seating or other new rules will be implemented next year as well.
Overall, Rush said she was happy with this Fling’s results.
“Our goal was to make sure everyone had a good Spring Fling and went home safely,” she added.