Saturday, March 22, 2008

Campus Safety / Complancency

The Hatchet is reporting a 7% murder rate jump in the District last year after the figure hit a 21 year low in 2006 (with only 169 killings... keep in mind the District is a tiny 68.3 square miles).

However, despite this rise in murders, the GW area has remained largely safe and crimes tend to be of a non-violent nature.

None of these killings occurred in the city's Second District - an area of the city which encompasses Foggy Bottom - though the number of assaults with a deadly weapon has increased in the area, peaking in September with a high of 16, according to MPD data.

"The Second District has continued to have a very low rate of homicides. The prevalent crime problem in the Second District has continued to be property crime, burglaries and thefts," said Dolores Stafford, chief of the University Police Department, in an e-mail.

The Washington Post keeps an interactive crime tracker that overlays crime reports on a map of DC. It is amazing to see the difference between campus and most all other areas of town (though do keep in mind UPD statistics are not included in this... only MPD).

So, while its reassuring to know that campus has remained relatively safe, I feel many students has become complacent and allow themselves to be put in situations that are unnecessarily risky.

Remember the basics you learned as freshmen like staying to groups at night and take simple steps that could make a big difference like putting UPD's phone number in your cell -- I didn't realize we were supposed to call them first until just the other day after this incident became big news on campus and the administration sent an email around with the number. Its (202) 994-6111 fyi...

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