RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – VCU is starting its new semester off on a good foot when it comes to crime, with robberies and thefts on the decline. VCU police measure crime by the academic calendar.
Students began returning August 1, and from that time until now, police have seen a substantial drop in the number of criminals targeting the campus.
VCU sophomore Alex Johnson and junior Nick Henriquez say they feel perfectly safe on the VCU campus.
"I just take the basic safety precautions that I would do anywhere. You know not walking alone late at night, things like that," said Johnson.
"As far as being on campus, I've never had anything to worry about. So yeah, I guess they take care of us," said Henriquez.
VCU Police Chief John Venuti says he and his officers are making it a priority to keep people aware, especially of larcenies, the most common crime at VCU and at most colleges.
"Larceny is 100% preventable. If you don't leave your items to be taken, they won't be taken," said Venuti.
Police are on pace for a 35% reduction in thefts this year. Robberies are down 43% from this time last year.
"Last year this time we had 20 individual victims of robbery. This year we had five, so that's a dramatic decrease," said Venuti.
Police are now posting their crime stats online. Social media is also changing the way officers reach out to students.
"We're doing a really good job of keeping the VCU community here involved and informed of what's going on, and there's 50,000 sets of eyes around here, and once you're on the radar and we are looking for you, we're going to find you," said Venuti.
VCU Police put a daily crime log on their website so you can see where incidents are happening. The Chief says it's important for people to be aware of what's going on so they can take the proper steps to prevent it from happening to them.