Assaults See Highest Rate on Record
Published: Friday, March 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 1, 2013 02:03
Georgetown’s Department of Public Safety reported eight cases of assault this February — the most on record since DPS started posting crime numbers on its website in 2009 — in addition to a continued string of dorm burglaries and an off-campus burglary attempt last month.
Seven of the assault incidents were between students and one was between two university employees, but none involved sexual assault. October 2009 featured the former record number of reported assaults with six, of which none was sexual in nature.
Despite the assault spike, crime figures were lower overall last month, with 40 total reported incidents, compared to the previous February, in which 58 incidents were reported, representing a decline of 31 percent. However, the number of reported incidents was higher than this January, when 33 were reported.
Thefts were down from 26 in February 2012 and 14 last month. Drug and alcohol violations remained constant, with three drug cases in both February of both years. One alcohol violation was reported this February, down from two in the same month last year.
The number of burglaries remained consistent with the January total of six incidents, but this represented a sizable increase from the two that occurred in February of last year.
DPS has been investigating a rash of dormitory burglaries that began in January and has extended into February. A room in McCarthy Hall was targeted Feb. 4, and two burglaries occurred in Copley Hall Feb. 26.
According to DPS Chief of Police Jay Gruber, the suspect in the Copley burglaries, a young female, matches the description of the suspect in recent dorm crimes.
“The working relationship with the other universities has been key to developing the suspects and exchanging photos and images,” Gruber said.
Gruber denied that the suite system in Copley, in which two double rooms share a common bathroom in the middle, created any additional risk of theft.
“The suite system only creates issues when doors are left unlocked,” Gruber said.
The introduction in January 2012 of the Community Action Team, which most recently arrested a man attempting to enter university townhouses Feb. 13, is part of the campus police’s efforts to bolster analytical and investigative capabilities.
“We continue to improve our crime analysis function and to use our CAT team to focus on crime trends including the burglaries,” Gruber said. “We have also procured funding to fix, replace and upgrade our video camera infrastructure.”
Gruber could not provide official commentary on the spike in number of assaults before press time.