EDITORIAL: More can be done to help prevent crime

Rutgers should work with New Brunswick to spread word

To probably no one's surprise, two more crime alerts were issued this past weekend. The first was a robbery which occurred the morning of Sept. 21 on Senior Street between Sicard and Wyckoff streets, and the second was an aggravated assault that happened the morning of Sept. 23 on Easton Avenue. Additionally, at around 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, a robbery occurred at an off-campus residence on Harvey Street, and on Sept. 4 at approximately 1 a.m. an aggravated assault occurred on Easton Avenue near Courtland Street. A member of the Rutgers wrestling team has been charged with being the perpetrator of the Sept. 4 assault. 

Technically, at this point in the month, there has been an average of more than one crime alert per week — which does not necessarily give us an accurate idea of how many crimes are actually occurring, being that some additional crimes may simply not be reported or may not appear in Rutgers crime alerts. Either way, it is clear that the crime experienced by students stems from both people affiliated with the University and those not affiliated. Because the seemingly constant rate of crime involves both Rutgers affiliates and New Brunswick residents, there is no simple fix on either end. 

One hopeful new measure is the recent security camera installations in the fifth and sixth wards near the College Avenue campus. Resulting from a collaboration between the Rutgers—New Brunswick chancellor’s office, the Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA), the Rutgers University Police Department (RUPD) and the city of New Brunswick, these 12 new cameras are supposed to make students feel safer — yet the simple feeling of safety is not the most ideal goal. More should be done to allow students to actually be safer. 

One important thing that Rutgers and the City of New Brunswick may be able to do in order to make these cameras actually have an effect on crime is to make their presence known to as many people as possible. In making as many people as possible aware of these cameras, word will likely spread that crime is not advisable in these areas. In a sense, these cameras can work to deter crime. If that is true, we need more of them. 

There are also more than 60 blue-light emergency telephone boxes around Rutgers campus that can conceivably work to save lives and prevent crime from getting out of hand. But it seems the utilization of these boxes is not always feasible, and additionally people are not always aware of the boxes’ locations or even of their existence. More should be done, then, to spread the word about these blue-lights as well. 

The Knight Mover Shuttle is active from 3 to 6:45 a.m, Monday through Thursday. This shuttle can definitely help people avoid walking home in possibly dangerous areas, and with less people on the streets late at night or early in the morning there may conceivably be less crime. But the shuttle is not all that accessible, and many times students need rides home earlier than 3 a.m. RUPD also provides free escorts whenever needed, but it is not unreasonable for students to be weary about calling the police for a ride home from a party. 

At the end of the day, the University and the City of New Brunswick need to work together to deter crime in their jurisdiction. There are multiple ways that the city and Rutgers can avoid and deter crime, but these entail people actually knowing about them. In that sense, a more public discussion of people’s options and of concern with crime is needed within the Rutgers and New Brunswick communities in order to make everyone who resides in this town safer. 


The Daily Targum's editorials represent the views of the majority of the 150th editorial board. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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