Opinions abound for uptick in violent crime

In 2016, Hammond set a new record of six murders. Violent crimes of this sort have increased in recent years. There are plenty of potential causes people in the community point to for this.

Some believe this increase may be due to idleness.

“It might be a lack of stuff to do in Hammond,” said Arkeith White, a junior computer science major. “Maybe they need to have more activities to take part in Hammond. Give them something to do.”

Some feel it is caused by disproportionate priorities in law enforcement.

“I feel like the police are more worried about tracking down the students who are drinking under age and are more worried about bars and everything going on, since we’re a college campus, instead of what’s actually a real incident around campus,” said Haley Natal, a freshman business administration major.

Others believe our 45th president is the cause.

 

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“I’m really not sure,” said Joseph Dixon, a junior criminal justice major. “I guess I’m gonna say Trump.”

Regardless of what may be causing the increase, students are starting to see dangers in Hammond.

“Recently, the crime has gone up since I’ve been here,” said Natal. “First day of my first semester, someone was raped on campus. The week before that, someone got stabbed in the Walmart parking lot during the day. Then, a week after the girl had gotten raped, someone’s phone had gotten stolen and she was held at knifepoint. I mean, I haven’t had any incidents, but it is kind of sketchy walking around campus at night.”

However, many students feel Hammond to be a safe place.

“I don’t see many problems out here or don’t really hear about them so much,” said Dixon.

A lot of students have not experienced the effects of violent crime.

“Yes, I think Hammond is a really safe place to live,” said White. “None of the people I know, nor do I, ever run into trouble or feel unsafe anywhere in Hammond really.”

However, some have been exposed to threatening encounters.

“When I came home one night, three guys were walking around,” said Natal. “I didn’t think anything of it and was just walking. As soon as a cop came around the corner, they sprinted away and ran. I thought ‘well okay, that’s not good.’ Then as soon as the cop disappeared, they turned around and started walking back towards me, started sprinting. I had to run into my dorm and lock myself in. They started stalking around the building the rest of the night, so we called the cops, and they were gone after that.”

Just as there are multiple people to place blame on, there are numerous suggestions to solve the issue.

Dixon believes the solution lies in preventing the crime.

“We should focus more on crime control,” said Dixon. “Focus more on preventing it.”

White thinks we should provide the community with a way to keep busy.

“I think we need to build more activity centers,” said White. “Give people more stuff to do.”

However, others feel the Hammond police need to reevaluate their priorities.

“They should stop focusing on the problem with underage drinking,” said Natal. “I mean, we are college students, and I understand we’re not supposed to, but it’s gonna happen anyway. And that’s not the effects of what’s happening with violence. It’s more of people breaking into houses and no one actually focusing on thing that’s actually related to crime. Instead, they are just worried about little laws being broken like a speeding ticket or kids parking in the wrong parking spot. Campus police focuses more on that than actual issues and incidents.”

If you or someone you know has been a victim of violent crime in Hammond, call the Hammond Police Department at 985-227-5700. 

 

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