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Overall crime has gone down by 14 percent compared to this time last year, but forcible sex offenses and aggravated assaults are slightly up.

While there were 686 crimes reported from January through September 2008, there have only been 514 crimes reported so far this year, according to the Division of Public Safety.

Crimes against property have also gone down slightly compared to last year and bicycle thefts have decreased by almost 40 percent.

Penn Police Chief Mark Dorsey said the increase in forcible sex offenses is not discouraging because he attributed the rise to students’ increased willingness to report these offenses to the police.

He added that although crimes against property are down for the year, DPS is still concerned about the ongoing trend of bicycle thefts and thefts from buildings and automobiles.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said the reason these thefts are concerning is because the perpetrators often have a criminal history or a concealed weapon that could pose an even greater threat to the community.

While violent crimes are up slightly this year, there have been no homicides reported in 2009, compared to one reported last year.

September overall crime is also down 23 percent this year.

While no forcible sex offenses and one simple assault were reported in September 2008, there have been three forcible sex offenses and nine simple assaults reported in September 2009.

Director of Public Policy for Security on Campus Daniel Carter said it is widely acknowledged that the first six weeks of school are the most dangerous for sexual assaults.

He attributed this to the fact that students are living on their own for the first time, have more accessibility to drugs and alcohol and are in social circumstances that facilitate meeting new people.

A summary of the crime statistics for the year to date:

No homicides were reported this year while one was reported last year.

Total robberies decreased from 31 last year to 25 this year.

Aggravated assaults increased from 8 last year to 12 this year.

Simple assaults rose from 20 last year to 24 this year.

Forcible sex offenses increased from 5 last year to 11 this year.

Burglaries decreased from 64 last year to 38 this year.

One arson was reported this year while none was reported last year.

There were six auto thefts reported both this year and last year.

Theft from auto increased from 81 last year to 82 this year.

Bike theft decreased from 92 last year to 55 this year.

Theft from buildings dropped from 193 last year to 151 this year.

Retail theft rose from 81 last year to 85 this year.

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