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Burglaries, robberies decline; aggravated assaults and batteries increase in campus area

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085; j-unger@illinois.edu

6/21/
2001

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The number of reported burglaries and robberies declined in the University of Illinois Police Department’s statistical reporting area during the academic year that ended May 13, figures released this week indicate. The number of reported aggravated assaults and batteries, as well as the number of criminal sexual assaults, increased during that eight-month period.

Residential burglaries declined, from 131 during the 1999-2000 academic year, to 112 from Sept. 1, 2000, through May 13, 2001. Similarly, burglaries from motor vehicles declined from 223 to 141, and burglaries decreased slightly, from 96 to 94. (Residential burglaries include burglaries from houses, apartments and residence halls; burglaries include burglaries from businesses and university buildings.) Most of the burglaries reported took place off campus, in the northwest quadrant of the statistical reporting area.

The statistical reporting area extends from University Avenue to Windsor Road, and from Neil Street to Lincoln Avenue, including Orchard Downs. This area includes both university and non-university property.

The number of reported robberies in the campus reporting area during the academic
year – 23 – continued the three-year downward trend. During the previous two semesters, 28 robberies were reported, down from 42 in the 1998-99 academic year.

Reports of criminal sexual assaults increased slightly, from 14 to 16, one fewer than the number (17) of criminal sexual assaults reported during the academic year three years ago.

"These kinds of relatively consistent numbers indicate we need to continue and strengthen our crime-awareness and safety programs," said Capt. Kris Fitzpatrick of the UI Police Department. "People need not only to see and hear these figures but also realize they need to be constantly aware of the potential for crime."

The largest increase in reported crimes was in the category for aggravated assaults and batteries. From Sept. 1, 2000, through May 13, 2001, UI police recorded 80 reports, up from 54 in the previous year. Three years ago, the number of aggravated assaults and batteries reported in the campus area was 81.

Not surprisingly, UI students were the most frequent victims of aggravated assaults and batteries in the campus area, particularly men between the ages of 18 and 29 who were out between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. on weekends.

"People don’t generally think of people from this particular age group and gender as being victims of crime, but the statistics say otherwise," said UI Police Chief O.J. Clark. "That’s why we constantly are trying to drive home the message that people should avoid walking alone, they should drink responsibly, and they must be aware of their surroundings at all times."