The Isla Vista Foot Patrol and UCSB Associated Students recently announced a significant decrease in the number of burglaries in the area since the “Stop Burglaries in I.V.” campaign began six months ago.
The IVFPD documented 107 burglaries since the program was implemented on March 17, 49 fewer than the 156 reported residential burglaries that occurred during the same six-month period in 2010. The IVFPD organized the collaborative anti-theft effort in response to the community’s concerns regarding the prevalence of robberies over the past several years.
According to IVFPD Lieutenant Ray Vuillemainroy, local businesses and organizations have responded enthusiastically to the campaign’s educational efforts including passing out sticker refrigerator magnets with the program’s logo.
“It’s a total community program,” Vuillemainroy said. “A.S., IVFP, businesses — together we’re making a difference.”
Despite the correlation between the campaign’s timing and the 30 percent decrease in burglaries, Vuillemainroy said there is not enough conclusive information to determine whether the campaign’s efforts definitively caused the decline.
“It’s still too early to tell if the decrease in burglaries is due to the campaign, but I think the drop in burglaries will continue throughout this coming year,” Vuillemainroy said.
The IVFPD contacted then-A.S. External Vice President of Local Affairs Cori Lantz last January to collaborate on the project and help distribute roughly 30,000 stickers among the I.V. Tenants Union, UCSB Office of Student Life, I.V. Safety Committee, A.S. Finance Board, I.V. Community Relations Committee and I.V. business owners.
A.S. Internal Vice President of Local Affairs Tim Benson said the sticker’s message prompted residents to stay vigilant about keeping their doors and windows locked.
“We finally found a way to connect the dots and really reach people,” Benson said. “We subconsciously changed the culture of I.V. and told people to not be so easily persuaded to keep their guard down. The community just ran with it.”
According to Benson, the recent statistics suggest the student-funded campaign is achieving its goal.
“Who knows if it was our campaign that really lowered it or if it was just a fluky six months,” Benson said, “but all signs really point to this little campaign making an impact.”
Vuillemainroy said simple measures such as locking up accessible entry points would continue to reduce the number of burglaries.
“If students continue to lock doors and windows, I am confident numbers will drop,” Vuillemainroy said.
As A.S. plans to spend approximately $2,000 to print and distribute 150,000 stickers this year, Benson said the group expects the continued efforts to create a lasting impact on the community’s crime rates.
“I hope people will just start to be more cognizant of what’s going on in I.V. and on campus,” Benson said. “Hopefully this campaign will act as a catalyst for being more conscious of the problems we have and how simple it is to get 20,000 people behind a solution.”