Reports of attempted grabbings on campus come to a halt as UP amps up security


Daily file photo by Colin Boyle

University Police deputy chief Eric Chin. Since Nov. 13, UP has received no reports of attempted grabbings

Pranav Baskar, Assistant Campus Editor

University Police have received no reports of attempted grabbings of female students since the last crime alert on Nov. 13.

The sharp decline in the number of attempted robberies comes after multiple student reports of grabbings during Fall Quarter. In a crime alert sent out Nov. 9, the University reported three separate incidents of female students being approached by men who then tried to grab their belongings. UP informed the community of two more incidents Nov. 13.

Eric Chin, the deputy chief of UP, said he attributes the reduction of reported crimes on the south end of campus to new initiatives spearheaded by his department in collaboration with the Evanston Police Department, the Division of Student Affairs and Northwestern parents.

“We also had high-visibility foot and vehicular patrols in that corridor, and our community service officers have been positioned within that corridor as well,” Chin said.

Though all the students escaped without injury, UP responded to the reports by amping up its security presence through joint patrols with EPD and alerting students of safety resources. UP also encouraged students to take advantage of safety escorts, free shuttles across the Evanston campus and apps like Safe Ride and NUhelp.

In terms of investigating previous incidents, the process is ongoing.

“The cases are still open,” Chin said. “We’re still working with the Evanston Police Department — their cases are still pending as well. We don’t close our investigation until suspects are in custody.”

Chin added that while UP hasn’t been conducting climate surveys to see if students are feeling safer, the department is closely monitoring crime statistics along with EPD.

Some students already report feeling safer — though for different reasons. Medill first-year Sarah Tani said she feels more comfortable walking on campus now that the sun doesn’t go down as early.

“I don’t feel like I’m walking home alone in the night as much,” she added. “I also think there’s been increased awareness across the board in terms of women walking alone, given what’s happened earlier this year.”

Tani said the incidents in Fall Quarter have made people more collectively conscious about where they go and when, which increases safety on campus.

Though students are taking personal precautions to feel more protected, it’s unclear whether they are aware of the new steps UP has been taking to increase security.

Medill first-year Saira Singh said she feels like a lot of the changes were made “behind-the- scenes.”

“I definitely feel safer than I did earlier when all the news was coming out about the grabbings,” Singh said. “Back when it happened in October and November, I was much more hesitant to walk around at night.”

Chin said UP has worked hard to make students feel safer on campus, relying on the support and feedback of parents and other members of the NU and Evanston community.

“We can’t do it by ourselves, when it comes to police coverage and proactive patrolling,” Chin said. “When we look at safety as a whole, it’s not just the police department or community services; it’s a collaborative effort with Student Affairs, parents, faculty and staff members.”

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @pranav_baskar

Related Stories:
EPD to partner with NUPD to patrol south campus
Students criticize UP responses to battery incidents, express fear
University Police alert Northwestern community about two new incidents