The arrival of VSU PD’s Annual Fire and Safety Report brings with it hope for a safer campus and a brighter future for VSU.
The numbers are encouraging, showing an overall improvement in the number of cases reported. Overall, 23 crimes were reported, and 54 arrests were made on campus during the 2017 year. Two thousand sixteen received 42 crimes reported and 62 arrests made. This is a 45 percent and six percent decrease in crime, respectively.
Over the last three years, there were absolutely zero hate crimes reported on campus or in the surrounding areas. This is not surprising considering the empathetic and inclusive environment VSU strives to maintain.
The most prominent crime continues to be burglary, with the numbers decreasing from 22 cases reported in 2016, to 15 in 2017. It is important, in this instance, to denote burglary from robbery.
Robbery “is defined as taking or attempting to take anything of value from the car, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear,” whereas burglary “is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft”. There have only been two reports of robbery in the last two years.
There was one outlier case of arson reported in 2017, a crime unseen for the last three years.
Of the 54 arrests made in 2017, an overwhelming 92 percent were drug and alcohol related. The remaining eight percent accounted for illegal weapons possession. It is important to review campus policy, VSU PD policy and state and local laws before attempting to store a weapon on campus.
As we continue well into 2018, it appears that burglary will remain a preeminent force in the safety of students and campus-goers. However, Valdosta is still home to an extremely safe university. It is one of the safest in the nation, and the path continues to look bright. With an increasingly interactive police force and vigilant safety features throughout campus, the future looks optimistic.
Written by Patrick Barry, Staff Writer.
For more Campus Crime stories, click here
To view the 2017 annual Security and Safety Report, click here