[Wildcat Online: News] [ad info]





Online news service rates university as high-crime district

By Vanessa Francis
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 16, 1999
Talk about this story

An online news service rated the UA campus area as having a "moderately high" crime rate in a national report released Nov. 10, but Tucson law enforcement officials refuted the validity of the study.

In its first-ever report on college campus crime, APBnews.com ranked the University of Arizona area at a safety level of eight, with 10 being the most dangerous.

The report was based on rates of reported crimes per population of 100,000 in a given city.

The community surrounding the UA was listed with a 29.6 rate of violent crimes - 8.9 points higher than the national ranking, according to the survey.

The UA community reported a burglary rate of 406.1, compared to the national rate of 232.5. The larceny crime rate listed for the UA was 2851.5, with a national rate of 1821.7.

The survey also rated the UA's vehicle theft rate as 130.4, as compared to the national rate of 64.1.

Sgt. Brett Klein, a Tucson Police Department spokesman, said he was not familiar with the report, but recognized the campus area has a high risk of car theft.

"The UA is a likely area for vehicle thefts, because there is simply a lot of cars there," Klein said. "If you want a car, you go to a car lot and there's plenty of those around campus."

Sgt. Michael Smith, a University of Arizona Police Department spokesman, said the Web site failed to release how the statistics were gathered, making the survey unreliable.

"There is no sense in finger pointing ... when they won't comment on how they found those statistics," Smith said.

But Smith acknowledged that theft is a problem in the campus area.

"The biggest problem on this campus is property crimes," he said.

Veda Hunn, UA assistant dean of student, was also unfamiliar with the report, but was skeptical about its results.

The report was based only on reported crimes, which Hunn said invalidates the results.

"Sheer numbers don't report crime accurately," she said.

Hunn added that UAPD informs students on safety and how to protect their bikes on campus.

"If we are looking at bike thefts, then yes, it's high," she said, referring to the vehicle theft rating.

[end content]
[ad info]