Berkeley combats property crime

Increased crime hurts reputations, investment partners and quality of living.

The Daily Californian

Berkeley, alongside hippies and liberalism, may soon be known for its property crime. Dormitories, fraternities, sororities and many studentsâÄô apartments surround the Southside neighborhood, which has the fourth highest incidence of property crime, according to NeighborhoodScout.com. A reputation for high crime would detract from the University of CaliforniaâÄôs ability to reel in the best and brightest students, as well as from the cityâÄôs ability to attract businesses. While criminal activity has undeniably plagued many urban areas for an extensive period of time, the city and campus must work together to tackle persistent crime. Surprisingly, the University of California Police Department reports that property crime decreased between 2006 and 2008. But the UCPD has had to endure budget cuts and a smaller force this year, potentially hampering its ability to keep crime reined in. Even when budgets are tight, safety must be a priority. UC Berkeley must consider that many Southside residents are students. They are many of the victims of these property crimes and regularly have to worry about the security of their belongings. The campus and city must do a better job of coordinating their responses to and prevention of crime on Southside. Within this campus-city partnership, diverse communities such as greek organizations and the Associated Students of the University of California, Berkley, could work with their Southside neighbors to be more vigilant. We hope that new Berkeley police Chief Michael Meehan will prioritize a campus-city partnership in his leadership role and focus on community involvement and improved coordination with UCPD. While recognizing the realities of an urban environment, we urge students and residents to reject acceptance of this widespread property crime. No matter how prevalent crime is in cities, Berkeley does not have to be this way. This editorial was originally published in The Daily Californian at the University of California, Berkeley