Crime on Campus

Posted on May 1, 2014

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By Rachel Glazer

Tennessee_Bureau_of_Investigation_T-ShirtThe Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has recently issued their Annual “Crime on Campus” Report for the calendar year 2013. According to Mark Gwyn, Director of TBI, the report “presents the nature, volume, and extent of reported crime on the campuses and housing of Tennessee colleges and universities during the calendar year 2013.” The State requires the TBI to compile this annual report so that it can be presented to the Governor, local and state education committees, government officials, and the general public. The 217 page, year 2013 edition contains in-depth statistical reports that cover a wide variety of information pertaining to crime activity. In the report, there are comparisons and stats on crimes based on specific groups. Group A consists of crimes such as arson, bribery, theft, and fraud, among others; the report chronicles these crimes by year, the type of weapons used, the location of offense that has taken place, the time of day the crime occurred, and more. All data is provided from Tennessee higher education institutions themselves, and these figures are then formatted by the Tennessee Based Reporting System (TIBRS) offense classifications and are, in turn, based on FBI definitions, which are used as the national standard for statistical crime reporting. In addition, Group B includes crimes such as bad checks, vagrancy,disorderly conduct, and more.

The 2013 overview for Tennessee institutions offers good news; campus crime has lessened 11.6% from 2012 to 2013. There were 6,698 offenses reported in 2013 while in 2012, 7,576 offenses were reported.

When asked to comment on on-campus crime in Memphis, Rhodes College student Radhika Puri supported the TBI’s findings and made remarks about how safe the campus feels, even late evening. “I enjoy walking and running at the track to let off school pressure and I have never felt insecure about walking from my dorm to the track, or even running alone there,” Puri stated.

Another Rhodes student Ethan Williford said that because of the campus-wide texts and email alert systems in place, he feels like he is kept informed. In addition, he feels as though if needed to reach out for help, he could easily call campus safety. Williford also noted how security personnel are constantly visible around campus.

When asked about campus safety and crime, University of Memphis freshman Lillian Ball revealed that even though the U of M campus security is visible and accessible, she still uses caution when walking from her dorm to her car, especially at night. “That’s just the nature of the world we live in and U of M is a large campus, in the middle of an urban community. Cameras are in place at various locations, so maybe with more visible security precautions in place here at U of M, and in general, around the city, Memphians will feel better.”

Rachel Glazer is a Rhodes College freshman and native Memphian who is heavily involved in volunteer work on and off-campus.

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