New crime stats show UI highest in overall activity

BY DI STAFF | SEPTEMBER 11, 2012 6:30 AM

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The state Board of Regents released a new report of crime statistics from the public-safety departments of all three state universities last week.

The report, which is to be discussed Wednesday in the Board of Regents’ meeting, aggregates and compares crime data from the public safety departments of Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa, and the University of Iowa.

According to the report, which contains data from 2011 and the first half of 2012, the UI ranks highest in total number of incidents reported, total number of charges, and total number of people arrested in both 2011 and the first half of 2012.

The report shows, however, that Iowa State University outpaced the UI in alcohol-related charges of the first half of 2012 — ISU had 456 alcohol-related charges in the first half of 2012, with the UI following closely at 449 — though the UI far exceeded the 2011 total at ISU, with 1,428 alcohol charges in 2011 (compared with ISU’s 886). UNI had far fewer alcohol-related charges, with 34 in the first half of 2012 and 125 total in 2011.

Chuck Green, the assistant vice president for the UI police, said he felt the size of Iowa City’s downtown played a role in the higher number of alcohol charges at the UI. He said he conducted a comparison of the two communities in 2005 and noticed a large difference in the number of licensed liquor establishments.

“In 2005, the difference between liquor establishments [was] their downtown, Ames, had 13 licensed liquor establishments,” he said. “In the same year, we had 52.”

Green said officers began to patrol the downtown in 2007 after his department received complaints of violence and sexual groping in downtown.

He said those officers were placed on overtime status while patrolling downtown until 2010, when the department added a dedicated watch of officers to patrol the area.

Green said the department hired seven new officers in 2010 to assist with the downtown patrols. He said the difference could be due to UI police’s increased presence downtown — something he said ISU police don’t do to the same extent.

“That, coupled with the fact that we have so many more liquor establishments, means that we’re going to have a higher level of activity,” he said.

— By Matt Starns

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