The nearly 50 percent reduction is in regards to part 1 crimes, which include criminal homicide, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, auto theft and arson.
In order to examine trends in Clifton crime statistics, the University of Cincinnati Police Department categorized part 1 crimes as either violent crimes or property crimes, showing the most drastic reduction in violent part 1 crimes with a drop of 62.2 percent.
UCPD actively patrols the 1.5-mile circumference around campus, using only reports from this region in their compiled crime statistics. In the last five years, UC Public Safety has heightened its efforts to increase safety in the Clifton Heights area.
Public Safety has taken a holistic approach to enhancing safety around campus by focusing on lighting, tree trimming, the institution of surveillance cameras and safety awareness education, according to James Whalen, director of Public Safety.
“We also have as many as 10 to 14 officers on duty patrolling at once during the busy hours,” Whalen said.
He attributes much of the reduction in part I crimes to these increased holistic efforts.
“A few years ago, we were averaging a robbery in our half-mile perimeter around campus, almost one every other day,” Whalen said. “Now, we’ve gone entire 30 day periods without a robbery in our circumference around campus.”
Whalen says that UCPD’s focus is on crime prevention efforts, which stems from studying trends in crime spikes.
“We see every year that we get a little spike because the students came back, and so the crime increases,” he said. “It goes down when students go away for the summer.”
Students are also feeling increasingly safer on campus. Michael Slater, a second-year business finance student, has noticed an increase in patrols around Clifton and feels completely safe in and around his residence off of Clifton Avenue.
“When I first moved down here, I was totally skeptical about danger in Clifton but after three months in my house without any scares, I think it’s very safe,” Slater said.
Slater and his peers feel comfortable enough to walk alone at night if they have to, but still take safety precautions such as walking without headphones and staying off of their cell phones.
Other students admit to feeling unsafe in Clifton alone, but feel entirely safe in large groups.
On the other hand, feeling safe in urban environments may even be partially attributed to a student’s prior living circumstances.
Elijah King is a first-year musical theatre student from Washington D.C. and said he feels generally safe in the Queen City because of his prior urban experience.
“I think the students that are used to environments like this feel more comfortable here,” said King. “But if you come from an area where you haven’t experienced crime or an area that isn’t very urban, you’re probably more afraid of Clifton.”