Campus crime rates fall during summer months

Following a flurry of burglaries from residential colleges during the summer of 2007, the number of on-campus crimes was cut almost in half during the dog days of June, July and August.

There were 65 instances of Part I crimes — which include violent crimes like robbery and assault but also property crimes like burglary and motor-vehicle theft — in the last three months at Yale; last summer, there were 128. Yale Police Department spokesman Sgt. Steven Woznyk attributed the decline to sharper policing and the iquiown roughly 35 percent compared to the first eight months of 2007.

“We’ve taken a proactive approach,” Woznyk said, referring to the YPD and Yale Security. “We’re utilizing our resources together … we recognize that we serve the same purpose and the same function.”

In early January, the University assigned six security officers to patrol residential-college courtyards from 4 p.m. to midnight. The move was, at least in part, a response to a spike in dormitory burglaries and intrusions during the fall semester of 2007.

The presence, University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said, has helped. Coupled with the increased visibility of YPD officers on the street, the bolstered security detail has been “a good addition to our campus-wide deployment,” she said.

Woznyk also said that several of last year’s burglaries — with a peak of five room thefts in five days among Summer Session students living in Morse and Ezra Stiles colleges — were carried out by the same group of offenders. Catching them helped drive down the crime rate significantly, he said.

Increased attention to nuisance crimes — so-called “quality-of-life issues,” such as aggressive panhandling — has also helped bolster security, Woznyk said.

But the same downward trend in crime does not appear to be holding outside Yale’s Gothic-style walls. As of the end of June, Part I crimes in the city were up 7 percent, according to the New Haven Police Department’s latest quarterly crime report.

Burglary was up 21 percent, murder up 57 percent and rape up 35 percent. Robberies, on the other hand, decreased by 14 percent and aggravated assaults by 7 percent.

And even then, not every Yalie was safe.

Just over two weeks ago, the house of Yale College students living at 65 Edgewood Ave. was burglarized. They bid adieu to two laptops and a number of DVDs, among other things, said Amy Lee ’10, who currently lives at the house but was not there when it was burgled.

An “odd” smattering of foreign films was missing, although the house collection of boxed sets remained untouched, she said.

The incident is still under investigation, Woznyk said. Lee said people living in the house had insurance, and their landlord has replaced the front door, which was torn off during the burglary.

While the exact number of individual Part I crimes in 2008 was not readily available, Highsmith told the News last September that there were 77 burglaries and robberies from January through August of 2007 and 78 burglaries and thefts during the same period in 2006.

Contact Bharat ayyar at bharat.ayyar@yale.edu 

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