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Assignment #3 Notebook

When I got an admission to Cal, some people told me that Cal is one of the most dangerous campuses in the US and that there were so many incidents of violent crime around the campus. As I settled in, I realized that it is not that bad as I expected. Last month, however, I read this article from the Daily Californian and became curious as to Question 1. If Cal campus is really one of the most dangerous campus in the US.

So I looked up FBI's annual crime statistics and found the statistics of offenses by college. I ruled out schools with less than 1000 student enrollments as those would not be large enough to form a campus. And this is the chart of 35 colleges with the most violent crime count.

UCLA hits the top with both the violent and property crime count, and UC Berkeley follows right behind it. However, both of the schools also have very large mass of student enrollments, and if we take this account and calculate the number of crime rate (per 1000 students), suddenly it doesn't look so bad for UCLA and UC Berkeley. Still, violent crime rate is almost three times higher than the national average (0.55) and total crime rate almost twice of the national average (15.05). Although the number is lowered, we can interpret this as chance of getting robbed is low only because there are larger body of potential victim (Berkeley PD's crime report indicates that perpetrators are in most cases not Cal students).

I looked at the data again and noticed that the list didn't include the whole college including many infamous campuses such as Columbia, Yale, Univ. Penn, Univ. Chicago, etc.

Now that I know that Cal campus is indeed one of the most dangerous campus, next question came to my mind.

Question 2. Is high number of crime incidents in and around campus related to crime rates of its residing/neighboring cities?

This time, I had to look for every neighboring or residing city of campuses on top violent crime list and combine the list with those cities' crime rate which I found here

Since nationwide crime rate is 454.5 (per 100,000 inhabitant), most campus with the most violent crime incidents are located within or neighboring high crime rate cities. There seemed to be no direct correlation between number of violent crime incidents and city's crime rate, however, it turned out that UCLA and UC Berkeley have weirdly high count of violent crime incidents when compared to their residing/neighboring city's crime rate. Why are UCLA and UC Berkeley more vulnerable to these violent crimes? One of the reasons could be that most students are living off-campus as many victims are targeted on their way home after sunrise.

So my next question was (Question 3) Do we have enough police power to patrol around campus?

From the chart, I could find some weak correlation between the number of law enforcement employee and city's crime rate. This is somewhat obvious, as more police will be hired to deal as crime rate goes up. However, Berkeley has proportionally second-to-largest deficit of police force. Considering Berkeley and neighboring cities' high crime rate, we don't have enough man power to spare for patrolling around the campus at night.

All data are from year 2008 as FBI has uploaded only preliminary version of 2009 reports.

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