UTPD reports crime occurring almost every day during winter break

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Although most students were away during the recent four-week holiday, crimes still occurred almost every day, according to the UT Police Department.

The UTPD Daily Crime Log lists the past 60 days of crimes reported by UTPD every day. From Dec. 15 — the day after the last finals were scheduled on campus — to Jan. 13, a total of 94 crimes took place both on and off campus.

Of the 94 crimes reported that took place during the 30 days of winter break, the majority were drug- and alcohol-related, with 13 reports of possession of marijuana and other controlled substances, 14 reports of public intoxication, nine reports of driving while intoxicated and three reports of alcohol consumption by a minor. 

There were also multiple incidents of theft and graffiti, with 10 and 11 UTPD reports occurring during the break, respectively. 

Traffic, vehicle and license violations were also common, with seven UTPD reports occurring over the holiday. UTPD also reported five incidents of criminal mischief and seven incidents of criminal trespass.

Assault, fraud, forgery and other miscellaneous crimes were the least common and accounted for the remaining 11 reports. 

Business freshman Aleyiah Pena said that although most people are away for the break, she still thinks 94 reported incidents seems like a high amount.

“It doesn’t surprise me that alcohol and drug crimes are reported the highest, but it still seems like a high number considering that when school is in session there’s supposed to be way more people here who could actually be involved in that sort of thing,” Pena said. 

Finance junior William Leavitt was on campus various times during winter break and said he didn’t notice less of UTPD’s presence despite the lack of students in the area.

“When I was here, I didn’t notice a difference in the police presence near campus, but the amount of crimes seems high since it seems like there’s no one here during the break,” Leavitt said.  

In comparison, the number of reported crimes was significantly higher during the remaining 29 days of the UTPD Daily Crime Log, which included crimes from Nov. 16 to Dec. 14 during the fall semester. During this time, a total of 141 crimes were reported both on and off campus. 

While more crimes occurred during this time, drug and alcohol crimes still occurred the most, with 22 reports of possession of marijuana and other controlled substances, 17 reports of public intoxication, 10 reports of consumption of alcohol by a minor and five DWIs. 

Similarly, theft and graffiti had the next highest number of reports, with 32 and 11 recorded incidents, respectively. Traffic, vehicle and license violations occurred eight times during these 29 days, while criminal mischief and criminal trespass occurred six and five times, respectively. The remaining reports, which included assault, disorderly conduct and other miscellaneous crimes, accounted for the remaining 25 reports. 

The majority of crimes occurred off-campus in West Campus and surrounding areas. UTPD could not be reached for comment on these reports. 

“If the reported crimes are being committed by older students, it makes sense that the most would occur in West Campus,” biology freshman Kimberly Tirso said. “The closer you get to campus the more specific the rules are about drugs and alcohol, so it makes sense that would happen more there.”