NEWS RELEASE, 3/4/97
Reported crime at UC Berkeley falls to lowest levels in 10 years, according to campus police statistics
Berkeley -- Both violent crime and property crimes at the University of California at Berkeley fell last year to the lowest levels in 10 years, according to a recently released report from the UC Berkeley Police Department.
Violent crime in 1996 decreased for the third consecutive year, dropping by 31 percent compared to 1995, while reported property crimes fell by 11 percent for the same period. Total reported FBI Index crimes decreased by 11 percent.
UC Berkeley Police Capt. Pat Carroll attributes the decline to three factors: the nationwide drop in crime, increased community-involved policing and a strong campus commitment to public safety.
"We have more foot and bike patrols now, and the building watch program has reduced property crimes," he said.
For the second year in a row there were no homicides. Two rapes were reported, the same as last year. One occurred in the city of Berkeley, with university police handling the investigation; the other involved acquaintances. No attempted rapes were reported.
Aggravated assaults decreased from 10 in 1995 to eight in 1996, with three occurring on the central campus. Robberies declined from 24 to 15. One robbery involved a carjacking, down from two last year. In all, seven UC Berkeley students reported being the victims of violent crimes in 1996, compared to 15 in 1995.
Juveniles accounted for one-third of all violent crime arrests, compared to 70 percent in 1995.
(Several robbery arrests in 1995 involved juvenile "rat packs," resulting in multiple arrests for one offense. There was a decline in this type of robbery in 1996.)
Burglary decreased by 30 percent compared to 1995, bicycle thefts by 29 percent and larcenies by nine percent. Motor vehicle thefts decreased by 24 percent in 1996, while reported arsons dropped from four to three. Vandalism fell by 15 percent.
In response to an increase in campus concerns regarding "threatening, harassing, or otherwise aberrant behavior and situations of potential workplace violence," a sergeant has been assigned full-time to "threat management," says the police report. Carroll attributes the upswing in reports of such behavior to increasing public awareness of domestic and workplace violence.
Arrests related to campus protests dropped from 52 to 23čall the result of a protest to the passage of Proposition 209 involving a takeover of Sather Tower.
The UCPD Bomb Unit, now 25 years old, responded to 117 calls for service -- about half from the university -- disarming 281 explosive items. Marin County has been added to its response area.
University police working with the City of Berkeley in a joint Robbery Task Force significantly reduced street robberies. A joint People's Park team was also successful in cutting alcohol-related crime there.
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