Opinion: Crime statistics misrepresented
The News Record
We've all heard it from President Nancy Zimpher, University of Cincinnati Director of Public Safety Eugene Ferrera, Cincinnati Police Chief Colonel Thomas Streicher and other political officials - crime is going down on UC's campus and in the surrounding community while claiming they have the figures to prove it.
That may be what they say and claim, but frankly, this isn't the case.
Crime data from 2007 is only available up to October at the time of this writing from UC and from Cincinnati Police; at first glance at the number of serious crimes seems to be going down. What these officials haven't said is that when taking a ten-month average from 2006 of crimes on all four UC campuses the serious crime rate is actually up.
Using the available data from the UC Police Department, there were 416 serious crimes from January 2007 to October 2007 and 457 in all 12 months of 2006. With two months still unreported in 2007, and we're only 41 incidents away from matching last year's numbers.
In fact, a 10-month average from 2006 shows a gain of nearly 36 incidents of serious crime in 2007 on all UC campuses. Cincinnati Police Department District Five shows a similar tale, with crimes nearly neck and neck for 2007 when compared to the ten-month average from 2006.
It's time University officials face the music.
Serious crimes that potentially have life-changing consequences for students, faculty and staff are occurring at the same if not higher rate. Crime is not down nearly 35 percent like President Zimpher said during her 2007 State of the University address.
I can live with petty theft but I wouldn't consider that when trying to decide whether or not the area I'm in is safe. Students are still not allowed to have any defensive items on them if they are in accordance with UC policies.
It's time to change this and let the students take responsibility for their own safety, as neither the university itself nor the two police departments can do the job. I know that blue help phones, university policies and signs sure aren't doing much.
Third-year mechanical engineering student