One Year After VA Tech, False Campus Crime Reports Spread


Media attention and new campus alert systems set up after the mass shootings at Virginia Tech may be responsible for a recent jump in false crime reports on college campuses nationwide, reports the Raleigh News & Observer. In the past two months, at least three crimes have been falsely reported at North Carolina college campuses. A half- dozen more have been publicized across the U.S. within the past six months. “For some people, it’s the attention-seeking. For others, it’s revenge. For still others, it’s the feeling of power they get by watching a college campus react,” said criminal justice Prof. Daniel Kennedy of the University of Detroit Mercy. “It’s like starting a fire, then sitting back and watching the commotion.”

False reports that trigger campus alert systems may not cut into the budget, but they can be costly when it comes to credibility, Capt. Jon Barnwell of the N.C. State University Police Department said. Three weeks after UNC-Chapel Hill student body president Eve Carson was killed, the campus was again on high alert. A senior reported that a man armed with a gun had attacked him in a robbery attempt Friday morning. Campus officials sent e-mail messages to alert the campus of possible danger. The crime was never substantiated. Sharpe was charged with filing a false police report.


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