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Robbery, drug violations increase

Reported robberies and drug violations increased last year, while liquor law violations were down, according to 2001 campus crime statistics released this week.

Robbery showed the largest increase, more than doubling from four to 10. Drug-related arrests increased from 16 to 19 and drug violation referrals jumped from eight to 21. Aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and alcohol violations all decreased between 2000 and 2001.

"We're doing a good job, but we're not happy with any level of crime," said Maj. Robert Dean of the Duke University Police Department.

Both Dean and Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta cautioned against trying to derive too much meaning from the annual increases and decreases in each category, because the changes are too small to be statistically significant. The statistics have not been processed long enough to determine their significance, said Dean, one of the DUPD members who will interpret the data.

Colleges must report their crime statistics to the U.S. Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education, which annually posts the information on a website intended for students who are considering where to attend college. Duke's statistics include offenses committed on campus or at the Medical Center.

While drug-related violations increased, there was one fewer liquor-related arrest from the 12 of the previous year, and more substantially, referrals decreased from 293 to 221.

"From a statistical perspective, the numbers are too small to see trends," Moneta said. "[The decrease in alcohol violations] may be more a function of how the weather changes--because there is more outside drinking when the weather is warmer��than anything we've done."

When the drops in burglary--down 11 from 77 to 66--and the increases in robberies--up six from four to a total of 10--are combined, the similar crimes somewhat counteract each other, Moneta pointed out. Both involve theft but the classification of robbery indicates the threat of violence.

"I'm no police officer so distinguishing between robbery and burglary isn't something I'm familiar with," Moneta said. "The total of robbery and burglary is actually down."

No murders, manslaughter, hate crimes or non-forcible sex offenses were reported last year.

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