Power in the Pocket: College Campus Safety Study Reveals Students Feel More Safe on Campus in Spite of Rising Incidents, Thanks to the Mobile Phone

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According to a Bandwidth and BlueLight study, 80 percent of respondents feel safe on campus in an environment where non-property-related crimes have risen 10 percent in three years

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"Every student should feel safe on a college campus, 100 percent of the time. While 80 percent of students is a good start, there should be no student that feels threatened as part of receiving an education." — Preet Anand, BlueLight CEO & Founder

As students head back to college this month, a new study reveals that the vast majority of students feel safe on campus, due to their increasing reliance on mobile phones to protect themselves in light of rising safety incidents.

According to a Bandwidth and BlueLight analysis of U.S. Department of Education data, the total number of non-property-related crimes increased by 10 percent between 2011 and 2013, according the latest available data from 2014.

This finding is supplemented by a newly released Bandwidth and BlueLight study of more than 1,000 current college students, which finds that many students are familiar with the victims of campus crime:

  •     38 percent of women and 29 percent of men know someone who’s been a victim of a sexual assault
  •     34 percent of women and 30 percent of men know someone who’s been a victim of a robbery
  •     22 percent of women and 24 percent of men know someone who’s been the victim of a physical assault

While criminal incidents are rising, 80 percent of students report feeling “very safe” on campus – and they’re ensuring their safety with the help of their mobile phones:

  •     Two-thirds (66 percent) of all students send a text to friends or family, informing them that they’ve arrived home safely
  •     61 percent of female respondents have called a family member or friend while walking home or to their car alone
  •     Half of female respondents (52 percent) have sent a text to friends or family before going for a run or a road trip

With students increasingly depending on their phones to obtain peace of mind and ensure safety, there are emerging mobile technologies that are helping to add an additional degree of protection. With a growing network that currently comprises over 250 campuses nationwide, including many of the country’s largest and most prestigious universities, BlueLight is changing campus safety with a smartphone app that’s making the blue call box obsolete.

BlueLight allows students to share their location with friends and loved ones. In case of emergency, BlueLight routes emergency calls to the nearest first responders, on or off campus, based on the location of the caller. Using Bandwidth’s communications API, BlueLight also transmits the caller’s location directly to dispatchers.

“Every student should feel safe on a college campus, 100 percent of the time,” said Preet Anand, BlueLight CEO & Founder. “While 80 percent of students is a good start, there should be no student that feels threatened as part of receiving an education. Keeping students safe has been the mission behind our technology and it’s the premise behind releasing this study. Protecting our students is an issue that we can all support wholeheartedly and technology is here to help.”

For the full study results, please click here.

Note: The U.S. Department of Education data compiled in the Bandwidth and BlueLight analysis is housed in the Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis online portal, visible at this link. Non-property-related crimes are defined as all reported criminal incidents that exclude burglary, auto theft and arson. The Bandwidth-BlueLight commissioned study of 1,000 college students occurred in July 2015.

About Bandwidth
Bandwidth is among the nation's largest and fastest-growing communication technology companies. The company operates two divisions – business solutions and consumer (Republic Wireless) that share a mission of transforming the communications industry. Across the divisions, Bandwidth provides a full range of communications services, including voice origination, termination and toll free; a full suite of 9-1-1 services; SMS solutions; SIP Trunking; hosted VoIP for SMBs; and a consumer wireless business. Founded in 1999, and a certified CLEC in 49 states, Bandwidth is a profitable company headquartered in Raleigh, NC with a large remote office in Denver, CO and field offices in eight other cities.

About BlueLight
BlueLight is an everyday safety service that also provides enhanced emergency calling on college campuses. Its innovative call routing technology revolutionizes mobile emergency response. The company’s growing network includes college campuses, corporate campuses, ski resorts and municipal law enforcement. For more information or to download the application, visit http://www.getbluelight.com.

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Adam Novak
PAN Communications
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