Students Report Street Crimes in Allston
University bolsters police presence west of campus
After an unsettling increase in reports from students of crimes such as assault and robbery in the Allston neighborhood just west of campus, University officials have hired Boston Police officers to increase the frequency of weekend patrols through Commencement. Boston University police are also working closely with Boston Police to crack down on the rash of crime.
University Police Chief Thomas Robbins says he considers the added police presence a step in the right direction, but he hopes also that students will respond to the apparent risk by being more cautious, especially at night. Robbins says that while Boston Police Department statistics show a significant decrease in crime in the district that includes the neighborhood west of campus compared to recent years, he and other officials were moved to take action by reports from students of assaults and robberies.
In an e-mail message sent to students last night, Robbins and Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore describe the increased vigilance and urge students to travel with others — especially at night — to remain alert, to walk in well-lit and heavily traveled areas, to avoid alleys and deserted lots, and to be cautious of strangers.
“It’s a dual message,” says Elmore. “We are doing what we can do to be helpful, but we also need people to do a gut-check and ask themselves if they are doing everything they can do to be safe.”
“People know what the issues are,” says Elmore. “They may drink too much and not have a way home. People have to plan ahead to know that they will be safe.” He says students who live in the neighborhood should be respectful of their neighbors and should get to know the local police. “Those are just basic civic responsibilities,” he says. “They’re things that people in any neighborhood should be doing.”
Peter Fiedler (COM’77), vice president for administrative services, says the streets directly west of West Campus, including Gardner, Ashford, and Pratt Streets, have become an enclave of students from BU and other schools. He says University officials hope the added police presence will “make it not as inviting to become intoxicated.”
The Boston Police Department is currently investigating the alleged beating of a BU student by a group of men near 44 Gardner Street around 2:30 a.m. in early April. And in a separate case, a group of BU students allegedly vandalized several cars along Allston streets, ripping off antennas, smashing windows, and flattening tires.
Robbins says students routinely surge west of campus on spring and fall nights looking for entertainment in bars and for student parties. In recent weeks, he says, University officers have tripled alcohol patrols around West Campus — checking for underage drinkers and students with fake IDs and aiding students who need medical assistance.
“University police will do everything they can to prevent crime,” says Robbins. “But ultimately it’s up to students to protect themselves. Your safety is your responsibility. Just use common sense.”
Additional information is available at the campus safety Web site or the Boston University Police Department site, where a weekly crime log is posted. Contact the BUPD at firstname.lastname@example.org or 617-353-2121 and the Office of the Dean of Students at email@example.com or 617-353-4126 with any concerns or questions.8 Comments