DPS reports higher transport, theft rates during Welcome Week

Welcome Week may be known for its parties and celebrations, but all the fun may come at a cost for new and returning students.

There are about twice the weekly average number of transports and alcohol and drug violations during the first week of the semester, according to Adam Cooper, AU’s Public Safety coordinator of logistics and compliance.

The number of transportations and drug violations during Welcome Week has consistently remained higher than weekly averages for the past five years.

During last year’s Welcome Week, there were five alcohol and drug violations and three transports, according to Public Safety records. The weekly average for drug and alcohol violations was 2.12 and for transports was 1.19 in fall and spring 2010.

Welcome Week thefts on the rise

Incidents of burglary and theft during Welcome Week have also increased over the last five years, with 10 incidents in 2010, almost double the weekly average for that year. The weekly average burglaries and thefts was 5.12 for fall and spring 2010.

However, times when campus is less populated, such as over the summer and during winter break, do bring down weekly averages, Cooper said.

As students return to campus or move onto campus for the first time during Welcome Week, there is an increase in residents and their property after a quiet period over the summer, according to Cooper.

Cooper notes that because the tracked statistics are over a short time period, one or two events could make a large numerical difference.

All statistics reflect the number of reports taken, not individuals associated with these events. The number of transports reflects only those related to drugs or alcohol and not those that occurred as a result of non-criminal activity.

Public Safety’s tips for a safe Welcome Week:

• Do not leave your doors unlocked, even for brief periods of time.

• Do not let anyone follow you into the residence halls or admit anyone as a guest unless he or she is your guest.

• Report lost keys to the Department of Public Safety immediately.

• Report any suspicious activity or individuals to Public Safety.

• Program AU Public Safety into your cell phone for emergencies: 202-885-3636.

• Use the Public Safety Escort Service while walking on campus at night. To arrange for an escort, call 202-885-2527 or use a blue light or red emergency phone.

• Walk in groups whenever possible and look out for each other.

• Avoid isolated and dark areas.

• Carry your cell phone and keep it accessible.

• If you are approached, take note of the person’s appearance, clothing and anything unusual that will help identify the suspect.

• Be aware of the emergency telephones (yellow boxes on pillars, blue light phone towers and red telephones) located on campus, in building lobbies, elevators and in parking lots.

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