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Big drop in violent campus crimes

By Kathleen Maclay, Public Affairs
Posted April 26, 2000

In 1999, violent crime on campus dropped 26 percent over the previous year, and the number of violent crimes was the lowest of any year in the 1990s.

In its annual report on crime statistics, the campus police department notes that 23 violent crimes -- the types recorded on the Federal Bureau of Investigation Index -- were reported in 1999. That compares to 31 the previous year. The 1999 number is 41 percent lower than the annual average for the previous nine years.

"It's been going down for the last few years, and that's a nice trend," said Capt. Patrick Carroll.

The pattern, he said, is one seen all across the country.

On the Berkeley campus, with its 40,000 students, faculty and staff, UC police serve an average daily population of more than 55,000 people. In addition, UC police patrol off-campus properties such as the dormitories, University Village Apartments in Albany, and the Richmond Field Station.

Carroll credits the lower crime rate, in part, to continuing efforts by campus police to teach people how to guard against crime and to promptly report offenses. The campus also has improved lighting in various areas of the campus. Police also maintain some joint patrols and other law enforcement programs with Berkeley city police.

There were no homicides on campus last year, and robberies declined from 23 in 1998 to 15 in 1999.

There was one rape reported in 1999, Carroll said, the same as the year before. In each case, the suspect was an acquaintance or friend. The 1999 case occurred off campus at People's Park and resulted in arrest.

Of the 15 people arrested for the 23 crimes in 1999, none was affiliated with Berkeley, Carroll said.

Property crimes numbered 1,102 in 1999, up 88 from the year before. Almost half of the increase was due to a 44 percent increase in the number of bicycle thefts. In the same period, motor vehicle theft decreased 37 percent.

There was a three percent increase from 1998 to 1999 in the number of narcotics-related crime arrests. And while these arrests went up from 271 to 281, arrests for felony narcotics offenses dropped from 76 in 1998 to 40 in 1999, Carroll said.

Cases of public drunkenness increased slightly from 118 in 1998 to 135 last year, with all alcohol-related cases at 185 compared to 163 in 1998.

The FBI index for crimes includes homicide or manslaughter, rape and attempted rape, robbery and aggravated assault.

Altogether, police responded to 21,000 calls for help in 1999, compared to 19,500 calls the year before.

A 30-year veteran of the campus police department, Carroll said campus crime has been declining steadily since the late 1980s.



April 26 - May 3, 2000 (Volume 28, Number 30)
Copyright 2000, The Regents of the University of California.
Produced and maintained by the
Office of Public Affairs at UC Berkeley.
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