U of Minn. launches safety plan after robberies

  • Article by: Maura Lerner , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 22, 2014 - 1:35 PM

Brighter lights, more cameras are part of response to robberies.

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gopherncJan. 21, 1411:42 AM

Unfortunately, simply installing brighter lights does not make us safer at night. Unless they are shielded so that they can only shine downward, brighter lights will actually REDUCE safety by casting shadows, making it harder for our eyes to adjust and see, and giving the illusion of safety. There is virtually no research that supports the idea that brighter lights make us safer, but there is plenty of research showing that brighter lights waste energy and money, contribute to light pollution, and harm human and environmental health. I hope the U will choose their new lights wisely.

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decembersueJan. 21, 1411:48 AM

"crime-plagued"? Really? And you have statistical evidence that this year is drastically worse than previous years, and that Minneapolis and the U have higher crime rates than most other metro areas? Because if you don't, "crime-plagued" is utterly inaccurate.

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whynotrightJan. 21, 1412:03 PM

@Decembersue - "crime-plagued"? Really?” Unfortunately it is quite true. There has been a significant increase in assaults and robberies on the U of M campus; backpacks, laptops, cell phones, wallets, purses… all being taken from students by force. The thugs who are preying upon young students are taking advantage of the naïveté of kids who seem to believe that they are safe on campus, especially late at night. In addition to increased lighting and other improvements to campus areas what is needed in more plain clothes police patrols to catch these thugs in the act. Then once caught and prosecuted they should be given stiff sentences to keep them off the streets for many years.

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odinmanJan. 21, 1412:03 PM

The cops (both campus and Mpls) know who shouldn't be loitering around campus looking for robbery and assualt victims and where they hail from. If they harassed these punks enough (think stop and frisk), they would soon figure out that the U is no place to ply their trade.

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clnorthJan. 21, 1412:13 PM

decembersue. Why don't you find out? Walk around the area at night with an electronic device in your hands and find out how long it takes for you to have it stolen.

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bosshogJan. 21, 1412:22 PM

Bright lights does not equal safety! This is such a fallacy in this country. Many cities and towns in the UK and some in the US actually turn lights off late at night and it has been shown time and time again that crime does not increase in places that do this. In many ways lights make it easier for crimes to take place since they no longer need their own source of light!

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sammy1970Jan. 21, 1412:51 PM

This does nothing to protect the law-abiding citizens who live in the high-crime neighborhoods near the Univ. of Minnesota campus. The muggers and rapists (thugs) know that most students are under 21, and have not acquired their permit-to-carry. They also calculate that others under 21 are not breaking the law by carrying a weapon illegally. Until students gain familiarity with semi-automatics (like Glock, HK, and Sig), revolvers (Ruger, S&W, Taurus), the potential stopping power of 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, sight alignment, as well as the Weaver, Isosceles, and Israeli stances, the U has probably not see the last of this crime wave.

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endothermJan. 21, 14 1:08 PM

Considering that the smartphone thefts have been happening in broad daylight and even the middle of the Mall of America during peak business hours, I doubt that increased lighting will really fix the problem. It will probably just make it easier for the thieves to spot the phones. Adding key cards to all the doors might help, but it might also become a major inconvenience, with security running around campus helping people who have been locked out rather than preventing thefts. The only real way to stop this new crime trend is to squash the black market for stolen smartphones. This requires the cooperation of the big phone companies, however, and so far they have been less than helpful.

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ruphinaJan. 21, 14 1:12 PM

Many of the robberies have taken place in broad daylight, and while cameras MAY have a slight deterrent effect, the thugs all know that all you need is about three layers of baggy clothes topped by an oversize all black hoodie and the cameras become virtually useless in ID-ing the thugs. Kids- learn to protect yourself and start protesting the ridiculous idea that you are mature enough to fight wars and choose the person with their finger on the nuclear button, but can't drink or carry a self defense gun. Grow a pair and fight back against my generation, the baby boomers, the most narcissistic in history. We protested to get those rights (voting, drinking and shooting), and then when we got power we took 2 of them away from you. Why do you stand for it? Bill G.

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klmoonJan. 21, 14 1:16 PM

I realize that nothing is going to completely stop the crime but, #1 - don't be walking around with your cell phone out and talking on it. Too much distraction to keep an eye out for any trouble. #2 - walk with others. Seems that most of the crimes you hear about, are happening to the people out walking by themselves. #3 - Try not to be out when everything is shut down for the night. I know that for some people this is not possible but, give these thugs less targets. Be aware of your surroundings.

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