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A strong focus is placed on safety and security, on and off campus, but just like many large campuses, thefts still occur here. However, they are usually nonviolent and involve microscopes, car stereos, and books. Certain areas of UMass experience more crime than others, including Southwest Residential Area, parking lots, and the many off-campus apartment complexes, but this inevitably coincides with the population size of these areas. Students can protect themselves from crime by walking with friends and staying in well-lit areas, being vocal, locking doors, never leaving a personal item unattended, carrying a cell phone, and remaining alert at all times.
UMass also has many safety services to keep students safe, one of the most visible being the blue-light system. It is said that when standing anywhere on campus, you should be able to see at least one blue light, where you can hit an emergency button to summon help that will arrive within minutes. There is a free campus shuttle and walking escort service, so you will never have to walk alone at night. In the dorms, security monitors keep track of non-residents who enter buildings, and police officers and cadets are on constant patrol. Police have a generally positive presence on and off campus because, although they are known for their love of handing out parking tickets, they are not out to bust parties—their main concern is simply to keep everyone safe.