High School seniors have just recently graduated and will begin their college journeys in a matter of months. And although being a freshman is very exciting, there are some rising concerns regarding campus-based crime. This has led college administrators to consider how they can better prepare new students for campus living.
The National Center for Education Statistics reported that there were approximately 12,000 instances of burglary on college campuses in 2016 along with another 1,100 robberies. There was also a 20% increase in identity theft regarding college students in 2017 and the numbers aren’t improving.
Burglary is when the offender steals personal property while the victim is away. However, robbery involves a confrontation in which the offender forces the victim to hand over their property. This distinction is important because it indicates that a majority of campus theft occurs while students’ property is left unattended.
It could be that personal property wasn’t properly stowed or that it was simply left behind. A student ID is used throughout campus whether it’s checking out books, eating at the cafeteria, or gaining access to certain buildings. It is very easy to forget or misplace an ID, and the wallet or purse that it’s carried in. Theft is all too easy on college campuses.
In order to help new students understand the reality of theft on campus, many schools are incorporating crime prevention tutorials and discussions during their Freshman Orientation sessions.
In some schools such as Winston-Salem State University, local police officers and law enforcement agents are volunteering their time to teach classes about how to prevent crime on campus. Officer John Ojeisekhoba of Biola University says that informing students early is key to crime prevention, as freshmen are often targets.
Whether you’ll be a college freshman this fall, or you’re a parent sending your child off for their first year at college, it’s a good idea to start thinking of crime prevention now.
Remember to only carry your wallet or ID card when absolutely necessary. When leaving possessions in the dorm room or car make sure they are well hidden or locked down to something stationary. Similar to being in an airport, always keep belongings close by and never leave them unattended. When riding a bike, make sure to use a well-crafted lock, and of course, don’t forget to attend Orientation.