By Magda Lenowicz
Despite its location in the bowels of downtown Toronto, most Ryerson students feel pretty safe walking around campus.
Emily Best, a first-year image arts student, said she isn’t concerned about walking around the school at night.
“I’ve lived in Toronto all my life and I’ve never been threatened, attacked or mugged,” she said.
But police statistics show there has been a 26 per cent increase in crime rates in the area. This goes against the overall trend in Toronto, where crime rates are dropping.
As of Oct. 27, there were 1,742 crimes reported for the area bound by Carleton Street, Yonge Street, Dundas Street and Jarvis Street. For the same are last year, there were 1,382 crimes reported.
In a recent incident, an evening shooting last month at a store at 363 Yonge St., near Gould Street left a man in hospital with a bullet wound to the stomach.
“It’s a nature of downtown life,” said Lawrence Robinson, head of campus security at Ryerson.
Police say Ryerson’s security does a good job in keeping the campus safe. If students need company at night, security guards are available to walk with them. Ryerson’s guards have special constable status and can hand out parking tickets and make a citizen’s arrest.
“I feel very safe on campus because all my classes are during the day,” said Tina Blounas, a first-year information management student. “I’m sure if I had night classes I would be more concerned.”
Toronto police constable John Garrow, of 52 division on Dundas Street West, said students shouldn’t be too concerned about walking around the campus, but should take the necessary precautions. Students should only be concerned about purse snatching and minor theft, he said.
“Most crime happens late at night,” Garrow said. “[They’re] quick drug transactions gone bad.”