Temple Police reported an uptick in alcohol-related incidents in January compared to past years, causing an increase in patrols around Main Campus.
“Alcohol-related [incidents], which is public drunkenness and underage drinking, that’s where we saw craziness,” said Charlie Leone, the executive director of Campus Safety Services. “The past couple of weekends there were a lot of parties, a lot of intoxication.”
According to crime logs, the number of alcohol-related incidents increased from 34 in January 2016 to 42 in January 2017. January 2015 had almost the same number of alcohol-related incidents as 2016.
In the last weekend of January, crime logs show 12 reports of underage drinking and one report of underage alcohol possession. Over the course of the whole month, there were 42 total alcohol-related incidents, which includes underage consumption, public drunkenness and driving under the influence.
It was more than Leone said he could remember compared to past years at the start of a spring semester, “usually because it’s cold.”
Leone said the uptick was partly related to increased temperatures.
“When it’s cold, you’re not going to see as much activity outside,” he added. “As it starts getting warmer and right now with it unseasonably warm, people are going to open their window, so that leaves them more vulnerable to a burglary. You’re going to be out a lot.”
Leone said cold temperatures coincide with fewer burglaries and robberies.
“People are going to have their windows closed, so from a burglary standpoint, your house is more tightly secured,” he said. “From being outside, you’re not going to have as much of the vulnerability factor. As it starts getting warmer … people are going to open their windows, so that leaves them more vulnerable to a burglary.”
He added that when people wear heavier coats during the winter, they are less vulnerable to robberies because they keep their valuables in their pockets.
“If you’re wearing a lighter jacket without all these pockets, maybe you’re carrying your phone in your hand,” he said.
Leone added that most of the alcohol-related incidents in January were reported on Main Campus, probably as a result of drinking elsewhere and then returning intoxicated to residence halls.
“My suspicion with that is you’re at a party off-campus and then when you come back to the residence hall, you’re pretty intoxicated and you get stopped by security when you’re coming in,” Leone said. “Then they call us, and we take you to the hospital because you’re pretty inebriated.”
The increase in alcohol-related incidents was accompanied by an increase in total crime, TUPD reported.
According to crime logs, the overall number of reported crimes in January increased 17.7 percent from 2015 to 2017.
In response to the increase of partying that Temple Police dealt with in the first few weeks of the semester, Leone said that Temple and Philadelphia police increased their patrols.
“We’ve seen the parties,” he said. “Between us and Philadelphia Police as well, we both increased our resources.”
“The warmer it is, the more people are out, the more vulnerable you are,” Leone said.
Julie Christie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChristieJules.