The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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How students can look out for suspicious activity on Halloween

Students+discuss+their+plans+for+celebrating+Halloween+this+week.
Photo by Photo by Melanie McBride

Students discuss their plans for celebrating Halloween this week.

With Halloween coming up, students can stay aware of crime in the area, specifically any suspicious activity. Suspicious activity is defined as anything that is out of place, and students can report this by calling (979)-845-2345.

The University Police Department, or UPD, publishes monthly crime logs of reported crimes. In all of August, the crime log contained four reported cases of assaults, two cases of stalking and 38 cases of theft or burglary. From Oct. 1 to Oct. 20, the crime log contained 12 reported cases of assault, five cases of stalking and 42 of theft or burglary. Halloween will occur Monday, Oct. 31.

“UPD is available to receive and investigate reports of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking, assist in securing medical attention, participate in evidence preservation and collection, conduct criminal investigations of crimes and inform the individual of legal and administrative options both on and off campus,” the University Annual Security Report said. “Criminal investigations may occur independent from a conduct proceeding.”

Students can find information about how to report anything as well as available services in the Annual Security Report. To prevent theft, Special Operations Sgt. Josh Deleon said students can get items engraved for free at the police department.

“During Halloween, we typically see more suspicious activity, just people playing pranks,” Deleon said. “[This fall] we have seen an increase in theft calls, whether that range from bikes, scooters, computers and unfortunately even catalytic converters.”

Thefts and burglaries have been the top reported crimes this fall, Peleon said. 

“With Halloween coming up, people are going to be out and about. We want our students to be safe if they plan on going out to parties,” Deleon said. “Let somebody know or go in groups. Of course, don’t drink and drive. Don’t leave [alcoholic drinks] unattended. And don’t get behind the wheel. Call CARPOOL, call Uber or call a friend to get home safely.”

While suspicious activity can increase during Halloween, Sexual Assault Resource Center, or SARC, Executive Director Lindsey LeBlanc said, statistically, sexual assaults do not.

“​​The thing that we see with sexual assault is that it doesn’t discriminate,” LeBlanc said. “There are no particular situations, incomes, that become a higher risk. We do know that there are certain situations that make the likelihood of sexual assault higher and one of those is actually interpersonal relationships. Eighty percent of survivors know their perpetrators.”

SARC is located in Bryan and supports sexual violence survivors through advocacy, crisis intervention and counseling programs.

“We also work to end sexual violence through our education and prevention program,” LeBlanc said. “We spread the word on consent and boundaries and healthy and unhealthy relationships, as well as directly supporting survivors immediately following an assault as well as through their healing journey. We do individual and group counseling, and we provide referrals for protective orders or housing changes.”

As for how to stay safe during the upcoming holiday, Deleon said students should be aware of their surroundings by staying off their phones and not using headphones when walking at night. He said this also allows others to know that one is alert and not an easy target. 

“If anything happens, get to a safe place and then contact the police department,” Deleon said. “You can contact our non-emergency line, or you can contact 911 and let us know what’s going on. We can get officers or get you medical assistance if necessary.”

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