This summer saw 7 percent more crime than last summer, but robbery and theft saw significant decreases.
The months of June through August saw 208 crimes compared to the 195 crimes reported during the summer of 2010, according to the Division of Public Safety.
However, the statistics can be misleading, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
Crimes against people were up 20 percent from last summer, but Rush pointed out that, of 12 total simple assaults reported, eight are considered anomalous by Penn Police — three were against police officers and five against nurses in a hospital setting.
Crimes against property were up 5 percent this summer, including a 4-percent increase in theft from buildings — total crimes rose to 58, compared to last year’s 56. Forty five of those thefts were the result of unattended or unsecured property, DPS spokeswoman Stef Karp said.
DPS saw two increasing trends in theft, Rush said.
One such trend was theft from automobiles, such as instances in which a GPS device was stolen from a car near campus. This August, DPS recorded 11 thefts from automobiles, compared to only six in August 2010.
The other trend was bicycle theft. Penn Police saw 20 instances this August compared to only 10 the same time last year.
However, Penn should see fewer instances of auto and bicycle theft in the future because Penn Police made investigations and arrests in those areas, Rush said.
Additionally, this summer saw four forcible sexual offenses, compared to last summer’s three. All four offenses involved known perpetrators to the victim, Rush said.
Two other important categories of crime saw decreased activity, which pleased DPS, Rush added.
Robbery dropped 23 percent, she said, adding that the only two instances of reported robbery by gun theft happened to nonmembers of the Penn community.
Burglary — which has been a problem in past summers when buildings are sublet or left empty — decreased 25 percent, Karp said.
“It’s an ongoing initiative” to decrease summer burglary and robbery, Rush said. DPS worked closely with the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life to secure Greek houses left unoccupied during the summer, among other measures taken.
However, the Philadelphia curfew, which applied to minors on weekends, did “not at all” help to decrease rates of crime, Rush added.
The Penn Patrol Zone is still active during the summer with hospital, graduate student, restaurant and commuter activities, Karp said. With the school year now starting, Penn Police will start to pay more attention to alcohol-related crimes, which are now a larger issue with students back on campus.
Another difference between summer and school-year crime, according to Rush, is unattended theft, which occurs primarily to unattended electronic items in Van Pelt Library during the school year.
Theft of unattended items is how some people make their living, entering buildings on college campuses and stealing items to later resell them, Rush said. These perpetrators “work seasonally” and will likely return this school year.
In addition to monitoring personal items at all times, students have a higher chance of recovering their lost possessions if they register valuables with Campus Express, Rush said.Comments powered by Disqus
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