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Archive for Wednesday, October 3, 1990

KU POLICE BAFFLED BY RUMORS OF RAPE

October 3, 1990

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Kansas University police harbor no illusion that some campus crimes go unreported.

Police believe most students report incidents at some point, Director Jim Denney and Lt. John Mullens said in a recent interview. Although KU's most frequent crimes burglaries and thefts usually are reported to campus police, Denney and Mullens said they know some crimes rape, for example may never be reported.

Recent rumors about campus rapes have baffled campus police, who haven't received any reports about sexual assaults this semester. But police realize that some women choose not to report rapes.

"KU is a microcosm of society," Denney said. "We know that rapes, especially acquaintance rapes, sometimes go unreported."

At a protest Tuesday in front of Watson Library, a student protester told a crowd of about 150 people that women are raped every four days on the KU campus.

DENNEY SAID police get a feeling about the frequency of campus rapes by working with Rape Victim Support Service, a community organization for rape victims.

"They are usually fairly successful at getting details of the crime," he said. "They usually agree to get information passed on to us even if a report isn't going to be made."

Despite the rumors about rape, which focused on campus sororities, there have been no rape reports filed this semester.

Denney and Mullens said recent violence on the University of Florida campus has raised KU students' awareness of crime. They said students now are more apt to take precautionary measures.

"I don't think there's any doubt that the Gainesville situation has raised students' consciousness," Denney said.

BUT VIOLENT crimes at KU are not the campus' most frequent crime. Mullens said there's a big difference between most serious and most frequent.

Burglaries and thefts, the most frequent campus crimes, usually are reported to campus police. Denney and Mullens said many students don't immediately report crimes, but they said reports should be made even if they come a little late.

"It allows us to establish patterns," Denney said. "It may be a part in a larger jigsaw puzzle. Do report crimes even if it's a couple of days later."

The most recent comprehensive report available, which covers July 1 to Aug. 31 of this year, shows 121 crimes were reported to KU police. The total includes 46 thefts; 26 burglaries; 15 misdemeanor criminal damage to property; six forcible burglaries; six telephone harassments; three drug offenses; and one or two incidents each of such crimes as fraudulent use of credit cards, indecent exposure, terroristic threats and assault with a firearm.

STOLEN STUDENT identification cards and bus passes remain a big problem on the KU campus something Mullens called a "financial abnormality."

"We have had bus passes and KU IDs be the only thing stolen in a billfold or backpack," Denney said. "Money, driver licenses, books, et cetera, are left alone."

During one week in September, eight KU IDs with bus passes and two bus passes were reported stolen or lost to campus police, which represented a total loss of about $400. Students whose bus passes are stolen currently can buy a new pass at a reduced rate, $7.50. But beginning this spring, students will have to pay $30 to replace a lost or stolen bus pass, which initially cost $40.

Mullens said it will be interesting to see if the policy change affects the frequency of reports.

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