Crime prevention at Hampton U. means guard the gadgets

By Alyssa E. Judd

Crime lurks behind every corner of the world.

To ensure the safety of students at universities and colleges, an act was created. The Jeanne Clery Act prevents people from believing prestigious, private universities are immune to crime.

Gated entrances, decal checks, and routine patrolling do not eliminate all problems. For the past three years at Hampton University, the number of aggravated assaults has almost doubled. Meanwhile, larceny decreased by 14 percent and burglary cases was down by 21 percent.

The number of on campus assaults increased from six to 11. The chance of being injured is high. Aggravated assaults are usually a shooting or stabbing, but any injury that breaks a person’s skin falls into the category.

“If I was to punch you in the nose and it broke it would be considered aggravated assault,” explained Sergeant Darrin Flythe of the campus police. “In court, it would be reduced to assault and battery.”

That was not the only bit of information the university sergeant was able to give. He released Hampton’s top three hotspots for larceny: The cafeteria, the student center, and Bemis Hall.

Bemis is the home of Hampton’s architecture majors. The students practically live in the building with the amount of projects they tackle, but now it’s apparent the one thing they do not do in Bemis is eat.

When architecture majors work on projects and get hungry they haven’t been known to shut down their computers and take them along on their food journey. Campus police said many students leave their laptops sitting in the building as they walk across campus to the cafeteria. When they come back to resume their work on their laptops, they are gone without a trace.

The largest crime numbers on campus are burglary and larceny. The 2010 data reported 36 burglary and 86 larceny cases. Burglary has decreased from 46 burglaries and 100 larcenies in 2008.

Both are similar in meaning, but are different in the way someone’s belongings are taken.

For example Burglary is when someone goes into another person’s dorm room and steals an iPhone. Larceny is the act of taking items permanently from a company or person without consent. It can be seen as someone leaving their iPhone on the table and walking away to talk with friends across the room; then another person comes up to take the iPhone.

Some students luck out and get their belongings back, but in most cases items never return. “I’ve seen people’s books stolen in the cafeteria,” said Daryell Walker, a junior. “People are careless and treat things worth a lot of money as if they bought it from the dollar store.”

“We call that a life lesson learned in the real world, because you left something out or left something, walked away from it, and someone else came behind and took it,” said Flythe the sergeant. “It’s also larceny, stealing property not belonging to you. It’s also something that person did to themselves and need to prevent.”

There have been cases where people were able to get their items back. One woman’s iTouch was stolen when she left her dorm room unlocked. Luckily, she registered it with the Academic Technology Mall [ATM] in Harvey Library. The tech workers were able to trace the Internet system down to two rooms.

For people who register their iTouch, iPad, iPhone with the ATM offers a tracking service in case of larceny or burglary.

The writer is a student at the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications