Oakland is consistently listed as one of the least-safe cities in the United States, and Berkeley is right next door. Even with its own police department, UC Berkeley has not managed to control crime in the campus area. The campus itself is considered safe at night, but crime is fairly common in the surrounding areas. Although there have been several local homicides in the past couple of years, these generally have not involved Cal students. When it is light out and people are walking around, crime is almost unheard of. Although many students admit to having walked alone at night, most say this is not a safe choice. Because everyone is aware of the crime, students try to walk home in groups.
To help control local crime, UCPD offers night safety shuttles, BearWALK (a night escort service), several blue-light posts around campus that denote emergency call boxes, and high-visibility officers throughout the city. If more students took advantage of BearWALK and the shuttles, crime would probably decrease and students would probably feel safer around campus. Unfortunately, most don’t want to wait 20 minutes for the shuttle or escort to reach them, and many complain that the services don’t work well.