July 13,

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The Weekly Snapshot                            
Your source for the latest tips, information, and current campus safety resources from the NCCPS.                       

Safety Concerns Emerge as Pokémon Go Explodes in the U.S.
Pokémon Go is  a location-based augmented reality mobile game released on July 6, 2016 by developer Niantic. Since its release, the game broke records as the most downloaded game in the U.S. in three days with Asian and European releases expected in the upcoming days. The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual Pokémon who appear throughout the real world. After a player logs in, an avatar is created and, using the phone's GPS and camera, the player's current location along with a map of the player's immediate surroundings is formed. Features on the map may include a number of PokéStops and Pokémon gyms. These are typically located at popular meeting places, such as memorials, places of worship, parks, and college campuses.
College campuses house a large number of public landmarks that make ideal PokéStops. This creates an increase in public traffic coming on and off campuses. Some campus public safety departments welcome this traffic while others are beginning to voice some concern over not only the volume, but also the risks to both those playing the game and others on campus.
Campus police and security departments can contact Niantic to have PokéStop locations changed or removed from within the game. This request form asks for the name and address of the PokéStop and your specific request.
On Tuesday, July 12th , the National Safety Council (NSC) released a statement on safety concerns regarding Pokémon Go. NSC is urging pedestrians to use caution when playing the game and asking drivers to "refrain from playing the game behind the wheel." Reports of pedestrian-auto accidents, robberies, and minor crimes and incidents are coming in as use of the game spreads.
In addition, D.C. police have issued safety tips for the public. These include:
  1. Always be aware of your surroundings, and look up from your phone frequently;
  2. Do not play the game at night and stay out of poorly lit areas;
  3. Try to stay in public areas where other people are around;
  4. Stay clear of alleyways, tunnels and other secluded areas; and
  5. Make sure that someone else knows that you are playing, and what area you will be playing in.
For now, play safe, think safe, and catch those Pokémon!

Larceny-Theft Prevention and Recovery
Property crimes - burglary, larceny-theft, motor vehicle theft, and arson - occur on college and university campuses nationwide. The FBI's Uniform Crime Reporting Program defines larceny-theft as "the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another."  FBI statistics show that in 2014 there were close to six million larceny-thefts, making up approximately 70% of all property crimes reported that year. Numbers reported by  university and college law enforcement agencies show this percentage is higher on campuses. In 2014, 72,961 property crime offenses were reported on campuses and 64,811 of those (89%) were larceny-thefts. Some of the most common targets of larceny-theft on a campus are bicycles as well as small items such as laptop computers, cell phones, and wallets.
Public safety departments can make crime prevention part of their basic philosophy; establish crime prevention programs; make educational programs and materials available; respond to inquiries about public safety's role on campus; and encourage students, faculty, and staff to become actively safety conscious. To aid in bicycle theft prevention and recovery efforts, campus officials may choose to set up bicycle registration and safety awareness events throughout the year in various locations and get members of the bicycling community involved in supporting the cause. Colleges and universities are employing various property theft prevention and recovery methods such as providing free laptop locks, free bicycle locks, using "bait bike" GPS tracking programs for bicycles, and leveraging available technology solutions. 
The following resources and training represent a few of those available to aid public safety officials in preventing and investigating larceny-thefts and recovering items.
  • Campus Crime Prevention - The National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) offers an advanced course, Making Your Campus Safer: Assessing Risks and Liabilities, for campus administrators and executives and the Basic Campus Crime Prevention Course for front line campus personnel. You may contact the NCPC if your institution is interested in hosting one of these trainings, or to request more information.
  • Property Crime - Victim Assistance Training Online, a web-based training funded by the Office for Victims of Crime, currently offers 50 modules including one on Property Crime. This 45-minute training identifies the major categories of property crime, the rate at which property crime occurs in the US, and the impact this type of crime has on victims.
  • Bicycle Theft (PDF) - This guide, part of the Problem-Specific Guides Series, describes the problem of bicycle theft, reviews the factors that contribute to it, identifies a series of questions to help you analyze your local bicycle theft problem, and describes the findings of evaluative research and operational policing.
  • Campus Crime Prevention Resource Center - The International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators provide access to a list of personal safety tips, including theft protection, and additional campus crime prevention resources. 
  • Investigating Property Crimes: A Checklist for Success - A PoliceOne article that lists steps to aid officers in their property crime investigations.
  • Larceny/Theft Program and Practice Solutions - CrimeSolutions.gov uses research to rate the effectiveness of programs and practices in achieving criminal justice related outcomes. 
Some of the current technology solutions available:
  • DataDot Technology - An asset identification, management, protection, and authentication product. Microscopic, traceable dots containing a unique code are applied to valuables using a clear adhesive. Prices vary by product
  • Immobilize - Immobilize can be used by members of the public and businesses to register their valued possessions or company assets, and exclusive to Immobilize, all account holders registered items and ownership details are viewable on a national police database of registered property ownership and stolen property records.
  • National Bike Registry (NBR®) - A bike registered with NBR can be identified by police and returned to its rightful owner instead of being sold at an auction. The NBR is available free to law enforcement nationwide.
  • Rejjee TSP - Rejjee TSP serves as a national multi-product registry and real-time crowd-sourced lost and found. Rejjee TSP works with individuals nationwide as well as local and campus police to register, report, and recover stolen bikes. TSP Basic is available for free and TSP Premium requires an annual payment. 

Access our online calendar of events.
Professional Development Opportunities
Title: Putting Together the Annual Security Report Workshop
Hosted by: The Clery Center for Security on Campus
Date: August 1, 2016
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Fee: Registration Fee
Title: College and University Police and Investigators Conference (CUPIC)
Hosted by: The George Mason University Police Department
Dates: August 2-5, 2016
Location: Falls Church, VA
Fee: Registration FeeInformation and Registration
Title: IPMBA Security Cyclist Course
Hosted by: International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA)
Dates: August 22-26, 2016
Location: Biloxi, MS
Fee: Registration Fee Information and Registration

Trauma-Informed Sexual Assault Investigation and Adjudication Conference
Visit our website for information and registration details.
Institute Attendee       
Check out our Q&A with Columbia College's Title IX Coordinator, Molly Borgmeyer.

Submit a Request       
Send us your requests for campus safety information and resources.  


This project was supported by Grant No. 2013-MU-BX-K011 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the US Department of Justice.
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