Peepers in the night, perverted glances

A peeping tom recently was arrested for the 32nd time near the University campus.

It turns out there is more to worry about for residents in neighborhoods surrounding the University. Police have arrested a “peeping tom” in response to numerous reports. It is important to worry about personal safety not only on the way home, but also while at home.

Reports say the man accused of peeping, Calvin Jennings, has been arrested more than 30 times for peeping at young females in their homes. Of these arrests, he has been convicted 13 times. It is alarming that the same offender continued to peep after being caught so many times. The most recent arrest was made April 10 in the residential neighborhood near the superblock.

Last year peeping became a felony offense in Minnesota. Because Jennings was convicted of peeping since then, his newest arrest could result in him being convicted as a repeat felon. The punishment could be as many as two years in jail. There are a few things that need to happen for this peeping problem to disappear.

First, the Minnesota justice system must recognize that this man has a serious addiction to peeping that is harmful to neighborhood stability and resident safety. It is obvious the methods of punishment that have followed Jennings’ other convictions were not enough to keep him from repeatedly stalking outside the windows of young female residents. It is necessary to think about how these instances might become more serious in the future. How long until peeping turns into sexual assault, stalking or break-ins?

Also, residents need to be aware of this problem. Neighbors need to communicate to keep everyone on the same page about any suspicious activity that might be happening nearby. Another thing that could help keep peepers away is shades or blinds on all windows. Not just the front window, not just the bedroom window, but each window in a room with a light on at night. Peepers don’t just watch girls change, they watch them study or do anything they can get their eyes on.

Progress can start with the case of Calvin Jennings, but the problem is likely much deeper than this single offender. Hopefully neighborhoods can work together to keep peepers away.