Campus watch: crime stats

Grace Johnson

Designed by EB Blass

The annual crime statistics report released Tuesday by Northwestern University Police revealed an increase in alcohol and drug-related arrests in 2008.

Thirty-eight total alcohol arrests were made in Evanston last year, up from 20 in 2007. The overall increase was caused by a jump in the number of arrests made on public property such as sidewalks, said Dan McAleer, University Police deputy chief.

“There is a lot of underage consumption discovered, after the original stop which is for having alcohol in public, which is illegal in Evanston,” he said.

McAleer said the increase wasn’t due to any special activity on the part of police.

“I wouldn’t necessarily say we are cracking down,” he said. “But I don’t think it’s a substantial increase.”

Drug arrests also increased from two in 2007 to 11 in 2008.

“A lot of it had to do with getting more calls from residential facilities for the smell of marijuana and people having a larger than personal-use quantity, which limited the discretion of the officer,” McAleer said.

Crimes against persons, which include aggravated assault and sexual assault, saw an increase from seven on the Evanston campus in 2007 to 11 in 2008.

“It is probably better than in other years we have had,” McAleer said. “We are always trying to move that particular area of crime down.”

McAleer stressed crimes against persons is the University Police’s greatest concern.

“It’s what we are most vigilant about,” he said. “We would like that number to be zero, but that is not always possible in the environment we live in.”