Crime up over break, but rates down overall

Though property crimes jumped slightly over the past three weeks — due in large part to the absence of students — overall crime rates continue to decrease compared with previous years.

A number of crimes — mostly residential burglaries, bike thefts and auto burglaries — were reported to the Department of Public Safety during the past three weeks, but DPS Capt. David Carlisle said the crime rates this winter break were the lowest they have been in five years.

“We have had a very steady decline in winter break crimes since 2005,” Carlisle said.

Daily Trojan | Leah Turner

DPS is attributing the shrinking crime rates to Compstat, a program initiated by former LAPD Chief William Bratton that helps monitor crime.

“The main thing is measuring where the crime is occurring and really closely measuring crime, monitoring, putting it on a map and holding our supervisors accountable to address strategies that reduce crime,” Carlisle said.

DPS has been consistently working to combat crime during school breaks by offering programs like the Group Initiative for Theft-prevention, which offers free parking for students in the Parking Center, which is patrolled and secured during winter break.

DPS also distributes crime prevention tips to students via e-mail. Carlisle said often when crimes occur it is because students have not adequately utilized DPS’ resources.

“Some of the issues that we have are that people leave over the break and don’t take advantage of the crime prevention programs we offer,” Carlisle said.

Despite the overall drop in crime, Carlisle did cite one serious crime that occurred near campus, when three juveniles tried to rob a woman with a knife near the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and McClintock Avenue.

Though the would-be robbers were caught, Carlisle said DPS is continuing to work to prevent robberies.

“One robbery is too many,” Carlisle said. “But we did catch them and they will be prosecuted.”