CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Aggravated assaults and batteries and criminal sexual assaults decreased while robberies and other sex offenses increased slightly in the University of Illinois reporting district during the Sept. 1, 2003 - Dec. 31, 2003, reporting period, according to statistics released this week by the University of Illinois Division of Public Safety.
Aggravated assaults and batteries decreased more than 48 percent, with 35 crimes reported from period Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2003, compared with 68 such crimes during the same period in 2002. During that period in 2001, 40 aggravated assaults and batteries were reported.
In 2003, robberies increased by four to 21 incidents versus 17 the prior year and 11 during 2001.
However, criminal sexual assaults declined during the 2003 reporting period, with nine criminal sexual assaults reported, relative to 11 such crimes during 2002. The 2003 figure represents a slight increase over the 2001 reporting period when eight criminal sexual assaults were reported.
It should be noted that the 2003 statistics for robberies, aggravated batteries and assaults includes crimes that occurred at Memorial Stadium when it was being used for Chicago Bears football games.
Consistent with patterns observed in prior years, the majority of victims of aggravated assaults and batteries during 2003 were community residents rather than U. of I. students or staff members. Likewise, U. of I. students made up the majority of robbery victims during 2003 as they did in prior years.
Of the 44 victims of aggravated assaults and batteries during 2003, 70 percent were males, and the majority of victims were over the age of 21.
Consistent with prior years, more than half (54 percent) of the aggravated assaults and batteries during 2003 occurred between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.
Alcohol appears to have played a significant role in violent crimes in the U. of I. reporting district during 2003, as more than 77 percent of the victims, suspects or both involved in aggravated assaults and batteries and criminal sexual assaults had been drinking prior to the crimes.
There were nine reports of peeping toms and public indecency during the 2003 reporting period, an increase of two over the 2002 reporting period. During the same period in 2001, four of these offenses occurred.
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 Urbana 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.