Author: Noel Hemphill
Recent statistics from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) report a 200 percent increase in rape, 170 percent increase in armed robberies and a 33 percent increase in assaults in the Northeast L.A. area, where the college is located, in the past year.
The Los Angeles Times posted an alert for the rise in violent crimes in the area, noting an average of four crimes per 10,000 people. Though the overall rate of violent crimes and property crimes is much lower than some other areas of Los Angeles, Eagle Rock’s crime rate is higher than nearby Highland Park and Glassel Park, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In addition to a 20 percent increase in burglaries, LAPD has tracked a 50 percent increase in homicide over the past year. Crime mapping by the LAPD shows that there have been several crimes near campus recently, including two thefts on Campus Road, a robbery at Paulhan Ave and Avenue 46 and an alleged sexual assault on the 4900 block of Rangeview Ave within the last month. There has also been a 23 percent decrease in arrests by the LAPD.
Criminal activity in Eagle Rock consists predominantly of property crimes, according to Director of Campus Safety Holly Nieto, who noticed several geographical patterns in the crimes reported.
“Typically, in our pocket of the Northeast, the three most common crimes rank as burglary theft from motor vehicle, home burglaries and grand theft auto.” Nieto said. “On the other side of Colorado Boulevard by Hill Drive, this [ranking] changes to home burglaries, theft from vehicles and grand theft auto. The Figueroa corridor is a crime corridor, where you get more assaults – of any kind – and armed robberies.”
Nieto had advice for all students to heed to keep their property safe.
“We are an open campus.” Nieto said. “We need to be aware of securing property and use common sense. You can’t leave things unattended in the quad. Lock your car and use common sense. We always need to remember we live in a big metropolis. If you are going to the taco truck, go in a group and carry a small amount of [dollar] bills. Use a whistle. Also, I encourage everyone to use our escort cars – it is no excuse to say you didn’t want to wait.”
Izzy Mayer (senior), who lives just two blocks off of campus, is aware of the crime threat in the neighborhood.
“I get nervous about my safety whenever I am walking alone at night or even just being home alone,” Mayer said. “But i think as a girl, and for anyone, you have to be aware and smart about crime regardless of the city you live in.”
LAPD and Campus Safety have a long standing relationship, including access to Occidental’s gym and athletic fields for training purposes, according to Nieto, who also praised LAPD for their weekly analysis of crimes in Northeast LA.
“We work to cultivate a compatible relationship with all of our responders.” Nieto said. “They are very good at letting us know if there might be a problem in our area.”
Information on all crimes reported to Campus Safety can be found on Occidental’s online Campus Safety portal. Alerts for the Eagle Rock area can be found by following the Twitter account Eagle Rock 311.
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