As warmer weather drives more people outdoors, local authorities expect crime to rise with the temperatures.
While crime rates have remained stagnant on campus, the University of Minnesota area has seen a recent spike in violent crime incidents. A robbery and assault near the Knoll area and a stabbing at the Metro Green Line Station in Prospect Park were reported within the past two weeks.
According to a statement by the Minneapolis Police Department’s 2nd Precinct, which includes the Como, Prospect Park and Marcy-Holmes neighborhoods, 37 auto thefts have been reported in the area since March 1. While the University of Minnesota Police Department has not seen a similar trend on campus, it continues to contend with individuals trespassing in University buildings, according to UMPD Chief Matt Clark.
UMPD arrested a man at Hanson Hall April 8 after officers received a call about an individual using a University computer who refused to leave at around 4:00 p.m. When he also ignored the officers’ requests for him to leave, they arrested the man and found two five-inch knives and alcohol on his person.
The transient population on campus began increasing in January, as individuals would take refuge in University buildings with late hours, Clark said. That population has begun to decrease as the semester comes to a close, he said.
“What usually happens is those groups then tend – when it gets warmer – to go outside and not stay in the buildings, so it’s more seasonal and not so much with the school calendar,” Clark said.
The end of spring semester and warmer weather usually coincide with a rise in crime on campus, Clark said. With anticipated Spring Jam crowds coming this weekend, UMPD is teaming up with MPD’s 2nd Precinct to make sure the event is adequately staffed with officers and security.
“Whether they’re out going to parties or whether they’re out and about at night later, that tends to cause us concern – just to make sure that they’re operating safely, and always our message is to make sure you look out for each other,” Clark said.