Prefrosh Preview: Crime news you can use

Vox brings you hear some useful advice on crime news around the area. Georgetown campus and neighborhood are relatively safe, but crime isn’t unheard of.

Hide your laptop, hide your wife

The most common type of crime at  Georgetown is property theft. Laptops and bicycles are the most frequently stolen items and there are several safety measures you can take.

It is important to not leave your laptop unattended for any length of time in a non-secure location.  As long as it is always within your view, you can make sure that no one takes it. Also make sure to lock your room when nobody is inside. While you may only be stepping out for a minute, that is enough time for someone to sneak in and take something.

For bikes, make sure to use a bike lock that locks from the front wheel. It is also recommended that you register your bike as this is potentially the only way to recover a stolen bicycle.

GOCard fraud is another type of property theft. Since merchants rarely check the picture ID, it is easy to steal debit dollars. If your GOCard does go missing, make sure to deactivate it on the GOCard website.

Burglaries are not unheard of around campus and in the larger off-campus areas. To prevent this, it is once again important to lock the doors to your dorm room/apartment even if you are only going to be out for a short period. The majority of the burglaries are results of unlocked doors.

A string of burglaries also occurred at Vital Vittles, the Corp run grocery store in Leavey Center. In early December, a large sum of money was stolen from the back office. In late January, 50 cartons of cigarettes were stolen.

Forcible Fondling?

A frightening but true fact: 1 in 4 Georgetown women are likely to be sexually assaulted during their time at school. Sexual assault includes rape and any other forcible, unwanted sexual contact. Last year, students reported two forcible fondlings, two indecent exposures, and one sexual assault. This summer, a sexual assault was also reported on the Capital Crescent Bike Trail, an area that many Georgetown students use frequently. However, sexual assault is often underreported.

Generally, Vox recommends using the SafeRides service late at night. Walking alone at night can get you into sticky situations. The University provides a nighttime shuttle service in the neighborhood and an individual van escort service called SafeRides. You can call for one at 202-784-RIDE (-7433). And what’s does DPS define as “forcible fondling”? We have yet to figure that one out.

If you have been sexually assaulted, Georgetown has resources for you to use. One such resource is Counseling and Psychiatric Services that has a full-time sexual assault counselor with whom you can make an appointment. The Department of Public Safety also has a Sexual Assault Services Coordinator who will work with victims.

Violent crime is relatively rare in the Georgetown neighborhood but it does occur. Last year there were two armed robberys reported, one at 33rd and N St. and one in Burleith. There was also an assault this summer in which a student’s purse was stolen.

To report an emergency, call DPS at (202) 687-4343 or MPD at 911. To call attention to other suspicious behavior, contact the DPS tip-line at (202) 687-2320. For medical emergencies, call the Georgetown Emergency Response Medical Service at 202-687-HELP (-4357).


4 Comments on “Prefrosh Preview: Crime news you can use

  1. “Walking alone at night can get you into sticky situations.”

    Come on, Vox. So can having a guy walk you home at night (most sexual assaults happen when victims know their assaulter, and this did happen to a friend of mine). And so can walking alone in the Copley stairwell on your way to do your laundry (as happened several years ago). I count on you guys *not* to say stupid shit like this. Yes, walking alone at night can get you into sticky situations, but there’s really no way around half of this shit, and you guys aren’t really helping the victim-blaming problem.

    I get what you’re saying, but once you know enough people who have been sexually assaulted in front of their friends at a party, or whose “nos” were ignored by the guy who walked her home (so she could avoid those “sticky situations”), these kinds of comments are really frustrating.

  2. Point well taken. I agree.

    Crime has many different faces. The crime we were trying to address here is a little different than sexual assault at a party, or walking home with a guy at night. This year and last year, there have been several reports from unidentified males approaching women on the street (although sometimes also in broad day light). That sentence was meant to address even a group of girls walking alone at night, or perhaps just one male student leaving a library to walk to their dorm off campus. It’s always good to use SafeRides,

    No way is the intention of Vox to undermine a victim. The intention is to empower students with better decision making skills by calling SafeRides, or other university provided programs to allow a person to come home with a security guard. The “sticky situations” one encounters while walking home alone at night or even sometimes at odd hours of the day was not meant to imply sexual assault. The average student will also want to avoid getting robbed on his or her way home, or just being in a vulnerable position to other types of crime. The comment was not just geared to women either, it was also geared to men.

  3. I think we’re all smart enough to understand that it may be prudent to take actions to minimize one type of risk (being a target of opportunity due to being alone at night) that don’t do anything for other types of risk (e.g. acquaintance rape). As Vanya said, SafeRides and the like can be good ideas for anyone, male or female. Sexual assault is most often committed by acquaintances, but robberies are not. Promoting measures that can help guard against one type of crime is not victim-blaming.

  4. Gurl, what you mean by “forcible fondling?” Why is it a question mark? It’s a crime like anything else, slim.

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