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Aggravated assaults, batteries
up sharply at end of 2004 in U. of I. district
Forrest, News Editor
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. –
Aggravated assaults and batteries were up significantly in the University
of Illinois reporting district during the Sept. 1, 2004 – Dec.
31, 2004, reporting period, according to statistics released this week
by the University of Illinois Division
of Public Safety.
Sixty aggravated assaults and batteries were reported during the period,
up from 36 incidents in the comparable period the prior year, but less
than the 68 aggravated assaults and batteries that occurred during the
final four months of 2001-2002.
Twenty-two robberies were reported, one more than during the fall 2003
reporting period and five more than the number of robberies reported
in the same period during the prior year.
However, criminal sexual assaults decreased, to seven crimes from the
11 reported during the last four months of each of the two preceding
There were eight incidents of peeping toms and public indecency during
the fall 2004 reporting period, down one from nine the prior year, but
consistent with eight incidents that were reported during the 2001-2002
fall reporting period.
As during prior years, many of the crimes during the Sept. 1 –
Dec. 31, 2004, reporting period occurred in areas adjacent to the campus,
not on university grounds. Eighty-eight percent (53) of the 60 aggravated
assaults and batteries, six of the seven criminal sexual assaults, and
21 of the 22 robberies occurred within the fringe areas bordering campus
and not on the campus itself.
U. of I. students and staff accounted for 87 percent of the robbery
victims but fewer than half (43 percent) of the victims of aggravated
assaults and batteries, and 37 percent of the victims of criminal sexual
More than 73 percent of the victims and suspects involved in aggravated
assaults and batteries had been using alcohol, drugs or both at the
time the crimes occurred. The late evening and early morning hours tended
to be the most dangerous time; 80 percent of the aggravated assaults
and batteries happened between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., and 60
percent of them occurred on weekends.
“The increased number of aggravated assaults and batteries continues
to be a concern, and the connection to alcohol use is obvious,”
said Kris Fitzpatrick, the assistant chief of the campus police department.
“This is not a crime trend that the police can resolve alone.
It’s important that members of the campus community be aware that
over-consumption of alcohol will increase the likelihood of one becoming
a victim and/or an assailant.”
Of those crimes that occurred on university grounds, the majority occurred
in the northwest quadrant, an area roughly bounded by University Avenue
on the north, Gregory Drive on the south, Wright Street on the east
and the railroad tracks just east of Neil Street on the west.
“We encourage those who live in this area to report all suspicious
activity and practice good personal safety habits,” said Police
Chief Oliver J. Clark. “Decreasing the number of crimes in the
campus area requires a partnership with the local police departments
and the community.”
The officers at the U. of I. Police Department are available to give
presentations on personal safety to students, faculty and staff. The
Safety and Presentations page on the UIPD
Web site, lists the different programs available. To request a presentation
or for other information, contact the department at 333-1216
The university crime report includes incidents that occurred in the
area extending from University Avenue on the north to Windsor Road on
the south, Race Street on the east and the railroad tracks just east
of Neil Street on the west.
Statistics on crime on the U. of I. campus have been kept and publicly
reported since 1995. The crime statistics are reported three times annually
and in new student orientations and campus crime-prevention programs.