LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Violent crimes are on the rise along the four streets that outline the UA-Little Rock campus, according to Little Rock police records.
KARK/Fox 16 reviewed police records from 2018 and 2019 in the areas of South University Avenue, Asher Avenue, Fair Park Boulevard and West 28th Street that run alongside the permieters of the UA-Little Rock campus.
A total of 13 violent crimes were reported in 2018.
There have been 19 violent crimes reported so far in 2019, including one a homicide right across the street from the college.
The surge in violent crime appears to have garnered attention from students on campus.
Kiauna Esquivel, a junior, tells us she never walks in areas just outside the campus and always prefers to drive.
“Yeah, I don’t want to take a chance,” Esquivel says.
Last month (August 2019) proved to be the most active month for violent crime in the noted areas. On Aug. 30, a man was shot and killed outside the Little Ceasar’s on South University.
Also this past August, two gunpoint robberies were reported at other nearby fast-food restaurants, according to police records.
In 2018, police records indicate four reports of aggravated assaults in the noted areas.
So far in 2019, there have already been six reports of aggravated assaults in the noted areas; two of the reports involved guns.
Harmon Tobler, a freshman at UA-LIttle Rock says the violence has become known, almost commonplace and part of casual conversation.
“We always joke about getting shot as soon as we walk out the door,” Tobler says.
“That’s just how it is.”
Officals at the UA-Little Rock say the school has suffered an 8 percent drop in student enrollment, according to this semester’s preliminary numbers.
Whether neighboring crime plays a role in that decline remains unclear.
The Little Rock Police Department says it has launched various efforts to curb crime in the noted areas.
The captain in the area began ‘Operation Midtown’ and made traffic stops a priority as a deterrent for other crimes.
Recently, the LRPD also hosted a Trust Walk in the area to gather input from those who live nearby about what they want to see from police in their neighborhood.