UPennAlert among few recent incidents
Total crime decreased by 36 percent in February, 22 percent in January
March 13, 2012, 11:24 pm · Updated March 14, 2012, 11:40 pm·
The new year has brought in a few scares but has seen a general decrease in crime.
The Division of Public Safety issued two UPennAlerts so far this year. On Mar. 8, an alert was sent out to the community at 3:17 a.m. in response to increased police activity at 38th and Market streets.
Philadelphia policemen fired gun shots at a male suspect and took him into custody, according to Penn’s DPS. Philadelphia police categorized the incident as an aggravated assault on police with a handgun.
The suspect was attempting a robbery at 39th and Chestnut streets. The victim of the robbery perceived the suspect to be an armed black male in a white jacket, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said. Both Philadelphia and Penn police arrived on scene.
Rush said the suspect ran through a parking lot at Ludlow and Market streets and seemed to have a black metal weapon in hand. However, he was not actually armed.
“If you point a black metal object at the police, you can expect to be shot,” Rush said.
Another UPennAlert was issued on Jan. 17 over a falsely reported robbery and assault.
Total crime in the Penn Patrol Zone in February decreased by 36 percent compared to February 2011 — from 66 to 42 incidents. January crime decreased by 22 percent — from 68 to 53 incidents — compared to last year.
Crimes against persons in these two months have taken a downward turn. There were nine crimes against persons in January 2011, which went down to six this January. February 2011 saw 10 crimes against persons, whereas this February only saw five.
Rush attributed this to strict policing.
“With the help of the Philadelphia Police, we locked away a lot of people last month. At least for a while, we have one group of people we don’t need to worry about,” she said.
Although crime is taking a downward trend, Rush said “the economy isn’t getting any better and there are people looking to replace those arrested.”
Property crimes have also decreased. February property crimes went from a count of 56 to 37, and January from 59 to 47.
“It’s because people are taking more responsibility with their property,” Rush said.
However, there were eight bike thefts this February and only three February last year.
Rush mentioned PennCycle — a new campus bike share program to launch this Friday — as a “rising solution” to the issue of bike theft.
There were three simple assaults this February — one more than February last year. Two of this month’s victims were hospital employees. However, Rush said there was no relation between these two individuals.
“Unfortunately, violence for healthcare workers is on the rise. People come into emergency departments with mental health or substance abuse issues and those who try to help them end up being attacked,” she said.
“We need the buy-in from all the community to help us keep the crime as low as possible,” Rush said. “We can’t have a cop at every building everyday.