Data reflect safe campus

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September 11, 2007

4:45 PM

The crime statistics for the last academic year are out, and they support the belief that the College is a relatively safe place. Twenty-eight criminal offenses, ranging from sexual offenses to burglary, were committed in 2005.

p. One criminal offense is committed on campus for every 250 students at the College. At U.Va., 285 crimes are committed per student.

p. The vast majority of crimes involve minor theft and vandalism. Common sense is the best prevention, according to John Coleman, lieutenant of investigations and administrative services at the College.

p. Although many students are worried about laptop theft, there were only six reported incidents last year. The majority of these laptops were stolen at Swem Library. Coleman warns that the College is a public university and the library is open to non-students.

p. The most frequent complaints come from students who leave their desks to go find books and find their laptops missing upon return.

p. Due to the College’s MyNotebook program, Coleman said, laptops have become easier to recover because they now come with unique serial numbers that can be imputed into the Virginia criminal network system.

p. Last year, 55 bikes were stolen, constituting the majority of crime at the College. This number is down from the previous year, but only 10 of the stolen bikes were returned. That is because thieves take many of the bikes off campus, where it is hard for police to find them, Coleman said. He suggested that it was important for students to lock up their bikes, as only a few locked bikes were stolen last year.

p. There were 104 incidents of vandalism. There were 44 reports of damage to vehicles, including egging and keying. Two buildings and 19 signs were also vandalized, mostly by spray paint graffiti. Such criminal actions create a large amount of extra work and unnecessary costs for the College staff and the police department. Last year, graffiti on a Spotswood wall cost the college an esttimated $350.

p. “Petty larceny is the biggest issue on campus,” Coleman said. Although some expensive items are stolen, most are not worth very much.

p. Coleman said that students should report any “shady people” that they see around campus to the police. “The campus is safe overall and Williamsburg is a safe place. However, use common sense,” he added.

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