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National trends indicate that there will be spike in crime during Halloween, although Penn does not generally follow that trend.

Credit: Carson Kahoe

You might think that with the increase of drunken people on the streets with dark costumes, Halloween weekend would lead to an increase in crime — but you’d be wrong.

Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said Penn does not see an increase in crime at Halloween. She did, however, allude to broader national trends as a reason to be more cautious this weekend.

“Our job is to know what goes on around the country,” she said. “Law enforcement recognizes it could be an opportune time to wear a mask and commit a crime.”

Penn Police, she added, are diligent in looking at the types of costumes people are wearing and their specific behaviors.

Though Penn Police does not implement special precautions, Rush said that students should always be cautious of their surroundings, especially on Halloween when it is dark out and people are wearing dark outfits.

Rush strongly discouraged including weapons as part of a costume.

“People should be mindful of how their costume might affect people,” she said.

If a student does see a gun, and worries that it could possibly be real, Rush advised to immediately contact the Division of Public Safety.

As for why there are no special policies for Halloween, Rush said that it is because they “cannot be monolithic” on one issue. It is important to keep in mind the broader campus and the usual job of keeping the students safe on any given weekend.

She also said that it is even a little bit more convenient, rather than harder, that this weekend combines Halloween and Homecoming. Rush predicted Homecoming will provide activities for students to take part in and keep busy, so it will encompass pre-Halloween parties as well.

“We can never do just one thing,” Rush said. “We are definitely multi-taskers.”