The Arizona Desert Lamp

UAPD: probably not working in shifts down at the crime lab to find your missing bike.

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 31 August 2009

LAPD Officer, Big Lebowski

Given our continuing coverage of certain UAPD activities, it was jarring to read the following exchange in  their Campus Watch publication [PDF]:

What is the most common type of crime on campus, and what can I do about it?

The most commonly reported crime on campus is property theft.

Sure enough, when it comes to reported crime, theft far outweighs other crimes (source: 2008 Campus and Security Report):

Reported Crimes

Yet as Connor reported last year, the claim is distinctly not true when it comes to actual arrests, in which case thieves are arrested far less frequently than pot smokers and drunks. Comparing crimes reported (blue) to arrests made (red) reveals a pretty stark trend:

A lot of this has to do with the nature of the crime – drinkers and smokers tend to be rather stationary objects, and tend not to be “on the move” after being reported. Thieves, meanwhile, move further and further away with each passing hour, and if the object is something like an iPod it’s next to impossible to find. (As a sidenote, the 100 percent rate for DUIs is extremely odd – even for each individual year, the number of reports is exactly that of the number of arrests. Either this is really, really good police work, or police are the only ones reporting drunk drivers.)

Nevertheless, when the theft rate on this campus is as high as it is, it seems odd that UAPD would register 89.5 arrests for every 100 calls regarding drug use, and 106 arrests for every 100 calls for liquor violations – literally, more arrests than citizens wanted. (Further, given the high number of calls that result in no action, arrests almost certainly outweigh reports in both categories.)  In economics terms, there is a surplus of liquor/drug arrests, and an extreme scarcity in theft/criminal damage arrests.

Given these numbers, and seeing how Campus Watch is self-described as an aspect of “community policing,” one would think that the UAPD would stop playing cat-and-mouse on the fifth floor of Coronado, and work steadily towards raising its arrests/reports ratio for theft above 8.9%. Yet given recent reports from the police beat, it seems that victimless crime crackdowns are here to stay.


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  1. […] be used to pay for 13 new UAPD officers (source for salaries: Daily Star), who could fight against theft, patrol campus to increase safety after-hours, or … well, combat chalking. Tagged with: […]

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