Violent crimes have plagued cities across the country in recent years, and reports indicate that crime incidents are approaching some colleges in recent days, causing some students and parents to fear how to improve public safety.
“We all need… some place for the school,” Robert McDonald, a former U.S. Department of Corrections agent and criminal justice expert at the University of New Haven, told Fox News Digital.
Violent crimes exploded across the country in 2020, with homicides rising by 30 percent compared to the previous year, according to FBI data, which showed the biggest increase in homicides in the year since the agency began tracking crimes. Crime rates have exploded at a time when society has been reeling from lockdown orders from the CCIDID-19 pandemic, calls for refunds to police departments across the country – including at colleges – and repeated nights of protests and violence following the murder of George Floyd. in Minneapolis.
Nearly two years later, many cities are still dealing with recent crime trends, including high rates of murder, car theft, assault and other crimes.
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College campuses have historically and severely dealt with crimes such as burglary and sexual harassment, data from the National Center for Education Statistics shows. But in just the past few weeks, headlines across the country have shown brutal shootings and killings on campuses, threats and rapes, home invasions and armed robbers lurking near campuses.
Students at New York University are saying they are on alert after a series of incidents where thieves blocked security and access to dorms, including in one case where a man allegedly watched a sleeping student.
“I want to feel safer not living in a dorm,” Ishi Gupta, 21 years old, told the New York Post. “NYU students are paying high tuition and expensive dorms, and to not feel safe in them is unacceptable.”
When the students are on University of Washington recently sounded the alarm about how few registered sex offenders live near the Seattle campus, and students reported that they prepared themselves with pepper spray.
In other sad news, the Idaho community is mourning after four University of Idaho students were found stabbed to death in a room off campus. And in Virginia, the campus of the University of Virginia is experiencing a shooting that left the school’s football players dead, one player injured and another student injured.
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McDonald said that in addition to students always having a solid understanding of where they live while at college, they should “go back to basics” and communicate with family and friends about where and when they go out to better protect themselves. .
“There is a need for us to get back to basics in terms of telling family and friends where students are going, who they are going with and reporting to someone when they leave the place and when they get to another place or home,” McDonald told Fox News Digital. “Students sometimes don’t like to hear like they want to inform anyone, but someone who knows where they live and travel plans can help with everything related to safety. In addition, walking with friends or in a group also helps make the environment safer than going somewhere alone.”
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Many schools across the country, especially middle and high schools, increased security measures this summer following the deadly shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 students and two teachers dead. At the college level, some school leaders have announced more police and public security presence on campuses facing crime, including at the University of Idaho and at Johns Hopkins.
“In response to these crimes, we immediately shifted public safety to increase our presence and focus on the areas most affected by these incidents. … Johns Hopkins University’s vice president for public safety wrote in a message to the school community last month after a “disturbing increase in serious violent crimes,” including a series of armed robberies gun.
Parents have become increasingly vocal in recent days about crimes that are rising near campuses, including at Temple University in Philadelphia where parents say the crime has been going on for years. A group of parents from this school joined earlier this year to hire soldiers from the school to better protect the school following the murder of a student and other crimes near the campus.
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“As a parent of a student at Temple University, it’s sad to say, but you expect something bad to happen, something very bad to happen to your student on earth. I have,” a parent of a Temple student told WPVI earlier this month. .
McDonald reiterated the importance of communication when explaining how parents can play a role in their child’s safety while living away from home.
“Good communication and dialogue between parents and students can make the student known to the parents where he is, and also the parents can understand what their children are doing and the places they often visit. Just to increase the level of security, and if something bad happens, to help law enforcement and investigative agencies and to improve the times around the movement of students,” he said.
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“Parents should also be talking to their college students on a regular basis to make sure that the students are feeling safe, not facing any problems with advertisers or bullies, and to have a handle on what the students are experiencing at school.”