Criminal incidents and arrests remained at near-normal levels this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, contrasting with the spike in illegal activity that took place over the same weekend last year.
According to university police’s crime reports from Friday through Sunday, the department filed 14 total incidents over the weekend, nine of which were directly related to substance abuse or possession. Last year, the department recorded 39 total incidents, and 20 of these were directly related to substance abuse or possession.
There was a significant decline in underage consumption incidents, with the department recording only five this year. Last year’s St. Patrick’s Day weekend resulted in 10 underage consumption cases.
While some have credited the crime decrease to the weekend’s inclement weather, this does not offer an explanation for the decrease in respect to the last two years, which saw cold and rainy conditions similar to those of this year.
UDPD recorded an average of eight criminal incidents per weekend for the first two weekends of March, so the 14 reported incidents represent a relatively normal amount of criminal activity. This could be linked to various efforts employed by UDPD and the university to help suppress dangerous behavior, including a preemptive St. Patrick’s Day email distributed to parents encouraging an “intentional conversation” with their children about safety-oriented decision making and the consequences of risky behavior.
Some students credited the decrease in activity to a heightened awareness of police and reports that this year would bring tighter enforcement.
“There were rumors that the police had warrants to raid houses,” freshman Aiden Heslin said. “I think that more parties were cancelled because people didn’t want to deal with the risks.”
Freshman Blaise Glowiak, a lifelong Newark resident, said that there was a different St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere in areas like Main Street this year than in the past.
“Just from looking at the streets you could see that fewer people were out than usual,” Blaise said. “People just didn’t want to get citations.”