By Kathryn Strong
Crime on the Amarillo College campuses still is low, according to the Annual Security Report.
AC provides annual crime statistics in reports available to the public by Oct. 1 each year in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security, Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act. Reports also include crime statistics for the past three years.
The report is separated by criminal offenses – on campus, on campus student housing, off campus and public property.
“Larceny and theft are the most common crimes at AC,” AC Police Chief Mike Duval said. “When the economy is sour, people steal.”
On campus in 2010, there were three robberies reported compared to zero in 2009. There was only one burglary reported in 2010 compared to four in 2009.
“On average, the crime rate stays about the same, but there was an increase in car burglaries,” Duval said.
Off campus, there were no crimes reported in the Annual Security Report in 2010 for AC. There was one forcible sex offense, two burglaries and one motor vehicle theft in 2009.
The U.S. Department of Education makes campus crime statistics available on its website at http://ope.ed.gov/security. The information also is available on the AC police website and will be completely updated by mid-November, Lt. Steve Chance said.
On Sept. 1, AC police patrol hours were adjusted as a cost-saving measure in the college’s ongoing battle against budget cuts. AC police no longer patrol campuses on Sundays or on holidays observed by AC classified and administrative employees. The patrol from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.
“In my 45 years’ experience, anytime there is a lack of police presence, there is a negative effect on the crime rate,” Duval said. “It’s too early to tell the overall effects of the cuts.”
College campuses generally are safer than cities, Duval said. He said campuses are like small cities within a city with a better police presence.
“When a report is made, we get on it very quickly and we have the ability to bar people from the property,” Duval said. “You can’t bar people from the city.”
The AC police maintain a public log of all crimes reported. The information is available at the police station on the Washington Street Campus.
Published: Wednesday, November 03, 2011