Campus crime index up

Scott Gordon

In 2003 Illinois’ state crime rate continued the sharp decline it began in 1994, and Cook County’s crime index dropped by 4.9 percent. But violent and property crimes on Northwestern’s Evanston Campus jumped 15 percent, according to a report released in July by the Illinois State Police Department.

The department’s annual crime statistics report states that the crime index — the sum of all incidents of murder, arson, sexual assault, robbery, battery and theft — on campus grew to 322 in 2003, up from 280 in 2002. The bulk of the increase occurred in burglaries and thefts.

Criminal sexual assaults, batteries and robberies also increased. Robberies increased mainly from an unusual series of attacks on students on and near campus last Fall Quarter. These incidents prompted University Police to supplement patrols by hiring more patrol officers and using security guards on foot and in golf carts for most of the 2003-04 academic year.

“We really hope that those increases in staffing are going to help us have a better year next year,” said Assistant Chief Daniel McAleer of UP. Robberies and batteries against students occurred less often after UP and university officials added security officers and improved lighting on certain areas of campus.

Motor vehicle theft and arson decreased from already relatively low numbers, and no murders were reported for either year.

Reach Scott Gordon at [email protected]

Crime statistics comparison

Crime Index 2002 and 2003

Where 2002 2003 % change

State of Illinois 519,192 497,693 -4.1%

Cook County 283,528 269,640 -4.9%

NU Evanston Campus 280 322 +15%

NU Chicago Campus 115 95 -17.4%

Evanston Campus crimes 2002 and 2003

Crime 2002 2003 % change

Burglary 21 50 +138%

Theft 244 255 +4.5%

Robbery 2 6 +200%

Criminal sexual assault 1 4 +300%

Aggravated assault/battery 2 3 +50%

SOURCE: ILLINOIS STATE POLICE DEPARTMENT