A topic that’s repeatedly coming up in local media outlets is the spate of felonies occurring in and around the University of Minneapolis. Although crimes affecting students on and off-campus have been decreasing in recent years, students still receive several alerts each month, including reports of robbery and sexual assault. One of the most recent incidents is an off-campus armed robbery of a student who was walking home in the evening; two men, one of them holding a handgun, allegedly took her wallet and backpack, and asked her to empty her pockets out.
In response to these incidents, and with the aim of addressing concerns expressed by parents and students, the university is discussing and implementing improvements in security in and around campus. Detailed here and here, they include:
- Better lighting on major roads such as University Avenue and other areas that see a lot of student pedestrian traffic.
- More security cameras on popular pedestrian routes.
- Increasing the number of University Police on duty.
- Requiring the use of electronic cards to get inside academic buildings.
- Crime awareness campaigns addressed to students that emphasize tips for staying safe.
- Increasing the hours of operation for university-run buses and for pedestrian escort services that help keep students from having to walk to-and-from campus alone.
The increased security measures may serve as deterrents of crime; the enhanced presence of campus security, and other measures such as the greater number of cameras, may also increase the likelihood of a criminal getting apprehended.
The kinds of crimes the university wants to crack down on could lead to serious penalties for a convicted criminal. For instance, the armed robbery mentioned at the start of this post appears to fall into the category of first degree aggravated robbery, given that the perpetrator is using a dangerous weapon (in this case, a gun); if convicted of such a charge, an individual could face up to 20 years in prison and/or pay thousands of dollars in fines.
If you need legal advice and support over any of these issues, don’t hesitate to contact a reputable Minneapolis criminal defense attorney. Our general advice is to do your best to stay safe and exercise good judgment in any situation.