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University police amping up campus protection

Posted September 22, 2008

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— As college students settle into class schedules and university life, campus police are reminding them to practice safe behavior.

While students say they feel safe on campus, many admit they have practiced some unsafe behavior.

“I’ve been at the library until weird hours of the night, walked back alone thinking I probably shouldn’t have done that,” Duke University senior Amanda Carpenter said.

Since July, there have been several serious crimes at Triangle-area universities including a double shooting at North Carolina State University in late July; two separate strong-arm robberies at the University of North Carolina; and two recent robberies of students at Duke University.

With schools back in session, so are the criminals, police said.

“The opportunist-type criminal activity tends to step up (during the school year). That’s been a trend over recent years,” N.C. State Police Capt. Jon Barnwell said.

UNC and N.C. State police have stepped up patrols on campus. Duke has added patrols in the extended areas beyond campus for the first time.

“While Duke is a safe campus and a safe community, we are not immune to criminal activity,” Duke Police Maj. Gloria Graham.

A new national Web site tracks campus crimes. UCrime.com lists schools by state and compiles a list of what types of crimes have happened on campus, where they happened and when.

The site has crime statistics for Appalachian State University, Duke, East Carolina University, N.C. State, UNC-Asheville, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University.

Campus police officers said the Web site is a good tool for general information about crime, but for the most up-to-date statistics, they recommend going to their Web sites directly.

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