Crime on Tennessee college campuses down 34 percent after year of virtual learning

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Crimes on college campuses across Tennessee are down.

That’s according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations annual Crime on Campus report. The TBI says it’s downward turn is thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While that sounds promising, some students say they worry more about what happens when they step off campus.

“Honestly on campus, I feel super safe,” said Madelyn Shultz, a sophomore at Vanderbilt. “The past couple weeks have been a little bit scary especially in this area. I live off campus right near here.”

News 2 polled random students about their feeling of safety on and around campus. They all gave similar answers.

“I live off campus. I think the surrounding areas it definitely feels a little bit more unsafe,” said Joe Rebak, also a sophomore at Vanderbilt.

According to a study done by the TBI, crime on Tennessee college and university campuses fell by nearly 34 percent from 2019 to 2020. In all, about 3,766 offenses were reported in 2020. Theft and larceny made up about 26 percent of those reports. Reported burglaries, on the other hand, increased by 11 percent.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” said Shultz. “I know a few people who have gotten their cars stolen or things stolen from their cars. So that’s something that’s a little bit scary.”

The students we spoke to say they’d like to see more cameras and more police presence going into the next school year.

“One thing they could do is make Uber more accessible to students, specifically students that are in financial need and might not be able to afford a ride back to their home,” said Olivia, a Vanderbilt senior who did not want to share her last name.

Crime on Tennessee campuses overall has dropped more than 40 percent since 2017.

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