By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Serious crime at the University of Minnesota continues to drop every year, statistics show.

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In fact, overall crime at the U of M dropped 20 percent from 2011 to 2012.

Serious crimes at the U of M fell 16 percent during that same time period. That’s fewer burglaries, thefts, rapes, and robberies.

“We had 20 robberies in 2005. This year we only had thee robberies,” said Chuck Miner, deputy chief of the University of Minnesota Police Department.

And there were 350 fewer crimes committed last year, when compared to 2004.

Miner said there are several reasons why safety is up and crime is down.

“It’s been a gradual decrease over the past 10 years or so,” Miner said.

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Ten years ago there were 30 police officers on campus, now there are more than 50.

And instead of keys, students use personal access cards to get into dorms. Miner believes light rail construction has also made it harder for criminals to get on campus.

Surveillance has played a big role, too. The university has added cameras around the campus for years. To the point where there is now a total of 2,500 cameras.

Alcohol offenses also dropped considerably last year – by nearly 40 percent.

But Miner said that may have more to do with less enforcement.

From 2009-2011, a grant paid officers overtime to crack down on alcohol offenses around campus. It expired last year.

Still, Miner said students may be more responsible when it comes to drinking.

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“If you compare us to another Big 10 school, you would see a huge drop in drinking numbers. It’s a much bigger problem at other college campuses than here,” he said.

John Lauritsen