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Crime on college campuses reverts to pre-pandemic levels as students fear for safety

At least three female students at Arizona State University were allegedly sexually assaulted by a “stranger” in a 30-minute period in a public area of ​​the Tempe campus.

The university described the incident as an “isolated incident” in a statement to Fox News Digital on April 11, but said it was an isolated incident for ASU, not the nation, and that the national spike in campus crimes is due to the pandemic. It has returned to its previous level. According to statistics from the Ministry of Education, this is the highest.

Four college students were murdered in 10 days at the end of February, two Appalachian State University students allegedly stabbed a classmate last week, and Michigan State University suffered a sexually-motivated assault in its campus library. I reported the incident. .

Additionally, anti-Semitic attacks on college campuses have increased “sharply” since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) said. . stated in a statement He is pushing bipartisan legislation to combat anti-Semitism on campuses.

Four campus murders in 10 days, universities across the country in crisis

June 26, 2004, Arizona State University campus in Tempe. (Rob Schumacher/Republic/USA TODAY NETWORK)

There were 38,303 criminal offenses reported at the university in 2022. Latest federal data Based on 5,783 educational institutions with 10,530 campuses.

To put the numbers into perspective, there were approximately 21,200 incidents reported in 2020, according to the National Center for Education Statistics’ September 2023 report.

Students and families are on high alert after a series of violent crimes have occurred around university campuses.

UGA crime scene photo below photo of Laken Riley and suspect Jose Ybarra

University of Georgia murder suspect Jose Ybarra lived within a five-minute walk of the scene where he allegedly killed 22-year-old nursing student Laken Riley on February 22nd. (Mark Sims for Fox News Digital/Laken Riley/Jose Ibarra)

Prior to that, between 2010 and 2019, the number of on-campus crimes decreased by 15% (from 32,100 to 27,200). The report states: before hitting rock bottom at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

According to the report, as students return to on-campus learning, there has been a resurgence in criminal activity (as seen in the bar graph below), fueled by sexual crimes.

“It’s scary,” ASU student Addison Gleason said. phoenix fox 10 After a female classmate was attacked. “It definitely gets scary, especially when there are a lot of people walking around late at night.”

Bar chart showing criminal offenses reported from 2005 to 2022, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security (CSS) Survey.

Criminal crimes reported between 2005 and 2022, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education, Campus Safety and Security (CSS) Survey. (U.S. Department of Education)

Front and center in the campus crime debate is the University of California, Berkeley, perhaps one of the most prestigious schools in the nation, and the 1,300 California parents and community allies who work together to protect it. They are a group consisting of more than one person, the so-called Safe Bears. student, Their website says:

Safe Bears said on its site that there has been a “significant increase” in violent crime on and around campus.

Private security guard hired by parents succeeds, but is dissatisfied with detective Mt. at the University of California, Berkeley

These include several shootings (one fatal), a robbery at gunpoint, and a stabbing near university housing. There are also reports of frequent burglaries.

So they took matters into their own hands, dipping into their wallets and ultimately shelling out $40,000 to hire private security, which led to a controversy with university leaders. This caused a feud.

SafeBears Logo and Safety Ambassador

The SafeBears organization hired a team of private security guards to protect students around the University of California, Berkeley campus for several weeks. (All images courtesy of Sagar Jethani, President, SafeBears)

The pilot program ended on March 23, but university leaders do not appear to want to restart the program.

A spokesperson for the University of California, Berkeley, said: fox news digital “Hiring private security guards raises a number of concerns, including the training and experience of the individuals hired by such companies,” he said in a previous interview.

Parents of Tennessee college student killed by stray bullet say law ‘protects’ repeat offenders

But even Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín, a believer in the “defund the police” movement who cut nearly $10 million from the police budget in 2020, launched the Crime Prevention Coalition two months ago. did.

At a press conference in February, he acknowledged the rise in criminal activity and said it was important to “deter crime and hold these individuals accountable.”

A map of accidental shootings compiled by Gun Violence Archive. (Gun Violence Archive)

Why are crimes among college and university students soaring?

Experts have not reached a final conclusion about what is causing the spike in campus crimes that seem to make headlines every day across the country.

Many point to a full return to school, with the pandemic in the rearview mirror and hostilities abroad such as Hamas’ invasion of Israel.

Oddly enough, crime analyst Jeff Asher says that violence, especially homicide, will decline in the U.S. in 2023 and continue to decline in 2024. Some surveys and polls show that as many as 75% of Americans believe crime is still on the rise.

Respondents broadcast audio of Colorado dormitory shooting, saying they “don’t know” if the gunman is still on the run

Nicholas Jordan (center) is accused of murdering Samuel Knopf (left) and Selly Montgomery (right)

Nicholas Jordan (center) is accused of killing Samuel Knopp (left) and Celie Montgomery (right) in a shooting at the University of Colorado dormitory.

“In more than 180 cities for which this year’s data is available, homicides are down about 20 percent in 2024 compared to the comparable period last year,” Asher wrote in the paper. Posted on April 4th by Jeff-alytics.

“Homicides decreased by 20.5% in 183 cities with data available through at least January, 20.2% in 174 cities with data through at least February, and 20.2% in 174 cities with data through at least March 20th. It has decreased by 20.8% in 59 cities.

But colleges seem to be going backwards, and parents like Safebear are concerned and taking action.

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Victoria Cole, a UC Berkeley parent, told FOX News Digital in a previous interview that she wanted to “move beyond a private security pilot program to hold the university and city accountable and promote additional safety measures.” “I think we need an organization like SafeBears to help.”

It remains to be seen whether crime on campus will level out or whether programs like SafeBears will become more common.

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