Urban location leaks crime
As the fourth most populous city in the U.S., Houston follows the lead of other urban centers with a high crime rate.
UH, the city’s largest institution of higher education, lies in the heart of the Third Ward, serving residential students and those commuting from surrounding suburbs like Sugar Land, Pearland, Cypress and Katy. Despite the numbers for aggravated assault and forcible-sex offenses — crimes that are far more prevalent in universities the size of UH — being nearly non-existent on recent crime logs, robbery and theft continue to pose a problem for UH public safety.
“During the day I feel fairly safe,” said junior Stacy Hensley, who commutes to campus. “But there is definitely a time — 7 p.m. — where I no longer feel safe, and I start to hit the panic button.”
According to the University’s annual crime statistics report, incidents of burglary in non-residence areas on campus have climbed to 87 reported in 2012 from 14 reported in 2010. Burglary has also risen in residence halls as well, rising to 75 in 2012 from eight in 2010.
Some students believe there is a direct correlation between how much a student pays for housing and the level and amount of security they receive. Alexander Castillo, a sophomore and Quadrangle resident, said he remembers friends who were burgled as residents.
“Sometimes we get the text or email 20 minutes later,” Castillo said. “The alert system definitely needs to be replaced with a better one. What happens if a student runs into a person fleeing the scene of a crime? Now that student has been put in danger because of a substandard alert system.”