UH police chief offers advice on reducing crime
UHPD police chief Malcolm Davis said preventing crime on campus begins with students.
Davis encourages students to utilize safe options when stopping criminal activity. Not being hesitant to contact the police department when confronted with a suspicious or potentially dangerous situation, he said, is one of them.
“It would help if students, faculty and staff let us know if they see people they haven’t seen before. Some suspicious reports don’t come back to anything, but maybe by reporting we could prevent someone’s window from being broken or a backpack being stolen,” Davis said.
Davis reported minimal criminal activity during the break but does not expect the same trend this summer.
“You tend to find out how good your holiday season was when students, faculty and staff start coming back and you may find a room was burglarized or someone left their car here and it was burglarized,” Davis said. “We haven’t got much of that in awhile.
“In the past, crime used to go down but now it doesn’t slow down for the summers.”
Theft of personal items remains the most common crime at UH.
Davis suggests students put their names on personal items and never leave possessions unattended. Cyclists should use a secure U-bolt lock on a bicycle rack, keep personal items out of sight in parked vehicles and immediately contact police if they think something has been stolen.
UHPD is now issuing a vehicle security report card that is placed on parked cars’ windshields. If a vehicle has done everything necessary to prevent a robbery, the car will be given a passing grade.
A failing grade would result from any of the following: valuables showing, a cracked-open window, money, electronics in view or unlocked doors.
The UHPD offers multiple online resources for the community, including a Facebook and Twitter page. The UHPD’s Web site also offers an “Ask a Cop” feature where anyone may ask a non-urgent question to a UH police officer.
Davis said he is interested in seeing what students would like to see offered on these Web sites.
Davis and his staff hope for a safe semester but want to remind students that keeping the campus safe is a collaborative effort.
Davis also said UH officers are not just college cops with no jurisdiction.
“Something I don’t know if everybody knows or not: we are real police,” he said. “If a crime happens here, we’ll go off campus to investigate it, to make arrests. It’s not that once the bad guy crosses the boundary from the University, that’s it and hands off. It doesn’t work that way.”