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Aggravated assaults increased
in U. of I. reporting district, statistics show
Forrest, News Editor
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –
Aggravated assaults and batteries increased by about 28 percent in the
University of Illinois reporting district during the Sept. 1, 2004 to
Aug. 31, 2005, reporting period, according to statistics released this
week by the University of Illinois Division
of Public Safety.
One hundred forty-two aggravated assaults and batteries were reported
during the period, up from 111 during 2003-2004 and 116 during the same
period two years ago.
Of the 189 victims, 158 were men between the ages of 18 and 29, the
majority of whom were attacked by strangers. The number of U. of I.
students attacked – 75 – was nearly equal the number of
community residents victimized – 76. In nearly all of the crimes,
the victim, the suspect, or both, had been using alcohol or drugs.
Late-night and early-morning hours on weekends tended to be the peak
periods for crime, as the majority of aggravated assaults and batteries
occurred on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays between the hours of 9 p.m.
and 6 a.m.
Robberies were up slightly, increasing to 53 from 49 during the same
period in 2003-2004. During same period two years ago, 37 robberies
The number of criminal sexual assaults decreased by 17 percent, from
30 to 25; that was slightly higher than the 2002-2003 period, when 21
criminal sexual assaults were reported.
Incidents of peeping toms and public indecency were down as well, from
18 to 12; 19 were reported during 2002-2003.
The greatest concentration of crimes occurred in areas adjacent to the
university campus rather than on U. of I. grounds, particularly in the
northwest quadrant, an area roughly bounded by University Avenue on
the north, Gregory Drive on the south, Wright Street on the east and
the railroad tracks just east of Neil Street on the west.
Good safety practices could help people avoid becoming potential victims,
said Krystal Fitzpatrick, assistant campus police chief. People should
be aware of their surroundings at all times and refrain from behaviors
that might make them easy targets, such as consuming too much alcohol
or wearing earphones that might prevent them from hearing someone’s
“Criminals are going to pick the people that they think will make
the easiest victims, regardless of their sex,” Fitzpatrick said.
“Men as well as women should avoid walking alone at night and
stay away from isolated, poorly lit areas. Riding the bus or using Safe
Rides and calling police to report suspicious people or activity could
help people reduce their risk.”
The university crime report includes incidents that occurred in the
area extending from University Avenue on the north to Windsor Road on
the south, Race Street on the east and the railroad tracks just east
of Neil Street on the west.
Statistics on crime on the University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign
campus have been kept and publicly reported since 1995. The crime statistics
are reported three times annually and in new-student orientations and
campus crime-prevention programs.