Crime Concerns Remain in College Park

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    Recent strings of attacks in and around the University of Maryland's College Park campus have many residents and students alarmed.

    Within the first few weeks of school, seven off-campus robberies took place, one of which involved four editors of the school's newspaper, The Diamondback.

    However, it was two recent attacks that left many feeling uneasy in the campus community. The first happened Oct. 3 behind Anne Arundel Hall, a dorm near the center of campus. This was the first on-campus attack of the semester.

    The victim was walking alone at about 4:30 a.m. when three suspects attacked him and stole his cell phone and wallet, say police reports. However, it was the stabbing of four people, including three students, outside Cornerstone Bar and Grill that left many concerned for their safety. An arrest was made in that incident, which happened Oct. 12.

    Despite these most recent attacks, University Police say that overall crime for the year is down. According to University Police data, there only have been six on-campus robberies this year. This is in comparison to nine on-campus robberies in 2009, and 15 in 2006. Also in 2006, 91 on-campus assault cases were reported. This year, that number is down to 25.

    Campus Police Chief Dave Mitchell said that, given its size, the University of Maryland remains very safe.

    "This is a very safe campus given the fact that we have a total population of up to 60,000 people per day in our 2.5-square-mile area of campus," he said. "With nearly 33,000 students at [the University of Maryland], we have very few incidents of criminal misconduct."

    Mitchell said that campus police, as well as Prince George’s County Police, have leads in many of these cases, and that more information will be said about them in a few days.

    Mitchell said two things are vital to ensure safety among students at the university -- education and enforcement: "Education in that the campus is a very safe environment. Our escort program and Night Ride program offer transportation alternatives to walking alone on and near the campus proper," Mitchell said. "Enforcement in the way of holding those responsible for committing crimes accountable."

    Campus police are urging students and residents of College Park to not walk alone and to avoid being out between 2 and 4 a.m., a time in which they are calling "crime time."


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