A man robbed near VCU's campus early Wednesday morning has students on edge. It's the latest in a recent string of assaults, thefts and robberies that have happened near VCU. In response to these incidents, VCU police have stepped up patrols in the area and have increased the number of crime alerts they send to students.
VCU police sends out alerts to students, faculty and staff via e-mail and text message when crimes happen near campus. The alerts include a descriptions of the crime and a description of the suspect(s) involved. VCU officials say, the goal is to keep their student body aware.
"I think that's a good thing," said VCU student Sterling Walton. "I think it let's us know what's going on in our environment so we're not blind to situations around us."
NBC12 looked through the crime statistics and found that there hasn't been an increase in the number of crimes in the VCU neighborhood. What has changed is the number of alerts VCU sends.
According to data from the Richmond Police website, in the last 12 months only seven more crimes have been reported in the VCU neighborhood compared to the 12 months before that. From September 26, 2010 to September 26, 2011, there were 329 reported crimes. From September 27, 2011 to September 26, 2012, there were 336 reported crimes.
In the neighborhoods surrounding VCU, it's a different story.
In the Fan, 107 more crimes were reported. The same time frames saw a jump from 1,762 to 1,864 reported crimes.
Jackson Ward has seen 65 more reported crimes. Again, from September 26, 2010 to September 26, 2011, there were 869 reported crimes. From September 27, 2011 to September 26, 2012, there were 934 reported crimes.
In the Carver neighborhood, 27 more crimes were reported. The same time frames saw a jump from 537 to 564 reported crimes.
"The crime has been going on," said VCU senior and student government member Nina Ferreira. "We live in Richmond, it's a city. It's always been like this, we just know about it now."
As a member of the student government, Ferreira says she is working with VCU police to send alerts more frequently.
"We've been trying to get students to be more aware of what's going on in the community," Ferreira said.
In the meantime, VCU and Richmond police have stepped up patrols around the VCU area.
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