How have recent crime rates impacted the UNLV community?

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“Missing Ring” poster of Kathryn Henry’s ring. Photo provided by Kathryn Henry

UNLV has seen an ever-increasing interest among prospective students nationwide, with each freshman class exceeding the population of the previous. With a large emphasis on facilitating such a large student body, resources have been heavily invested in campus safety, or have they? 

Recent reports of crimes across UNLV’s campus have raised both social and political eyebrows regarding the nature of criminal accessibility to campus, along with the inherent safety of students. With a rising student population, safety is more important than ever, but how can crime be combatted on campus? In what ways can students prevent themselves from being the victims of crime? 

“On August 3, 2023, I had my ring taken from the third floor bathroom in the Greenspun Urban Affairs building (GUA),” said Kathryn Henry, a graduate assistant at the School of Public Policy. 

“A professor came in and saw it next to the sink and placed it on top of the soap dispenser. I returned to retrieve it, and it was gone. It is a family heirloom. It is believed that someone within the building has it. There was a class going on in the conference room. The university police have been unable to locate it.”

Henry went on to further describe that she has not been the only victim of crime on campus, recounting another graduate student whose backpack was stolen from the graduate commons. According to the University Police Department (UPD) annual crime report, UNLV has seen 53 on-campus burglaries, 11 in student housing, and eight off-campus in the last year. Combined with burglaries, UNLV has reported 21 motor vehicle thefts, nine cases of domestic violence, and two recorded instances of stalking.

This pattern of crime has been a major concern for students, especially considering the case of Henry’s ring and other valuables stolen by thieves. Given UNLV’s location in east Las Vegas, local crime incidents can sometimes create a sense of spillover onto campus. A recent incident on Maryland Parkway involved a shootout between two men outside a 7-Eleven. Although not inherently within the close vicinity of UNLV, the likelihood of a similar incident occurring within the region is high, posing another threat to student life.

From a much broader standpoint, the need for further campus safety is ever present. With crime rates within the last year continuing to increase in size and frequency, it’s important for UNLV students to stay vigilant about their surroundings and take their self-preservation into account as often as possible. Abiding by necessary safety precautions and never walking alone during after hours is essential, especially with certain areas of campus posing higher risks of criminal activity than others. 

Given police response time and delay between incident and response, students should avoid walking after dark, if possible. Avoiding areas like unlit walkways, staying vigilant in parking garages and/or walking with a peer to one’s car can mean the difference between safety and danger. Students seeking assistance may also contact UPD to receive a police escort or response, in the event of an incident.

Students seeking help should always keep self-preservation in mind; however, those seeking assistance may contact UPD at 702-895-3668.

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