SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -- Five robberies have been reported to police in the last two weeks, and the increase in criminal activity coincides with the beginning of Seton Hall’s academic year.
While there have been more incidents since students returned to campus, police say that the students are not doing anything to prompt more crimes, but that it is a simple matter of statistics.
“It’s not anything the school’s doing,” said Jim Chelel, South Orange chief of police. “Of course when Seton Hall comes back into session, you’re adding another 5,000 to 8,000 people to the area, so it’s more likely someone will be the victim of a crime.”
A major factor to consider is South Orange’s proximity to underprivileged areas, where crime is more likely to spill over into the surrounding area, according to Chelel.
“Look at where we are,” he said. “We’re right next to Newark. It’s because of where we’re geographically located.”
According to officials from Seton Hall, preventing such crimes is just a matter of using common sense.
“The Department of Public Safety would like to remind you that it is important to pay attention to the persons and circumstances around you to make it easier to detect and avoid hazards,” wrote campus administrators in an email to the student body. “Also, it is always safer to travel in groups both on-campus and off.”
The reporter is a student participating in hyperlocal journalism partnership between TheAlternativePress.com and Seton Hall University's Department of Communication & The Arts.