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U of M: Fall semester crime alerts most in 6 years

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The rash of crime on or near the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus last fall led to the most crime alerts issued by the university for any semester in the past six years, the Minnesota Daily reports.

University police sent out 17 alerts for 23 separate incidents in the fall, compared to 10 alerts for 13 incidents a year ago.

The alerts are issued to students, faculty members and staff via email when a violent crime occurs on or near campus, the Daily says. The alerts must be issued in compliance with federal law.

The spike in crime has spurred the U of M to implement new security policies and procedures to protect students and staff. The new safety plan revealed Tuesday includes a combination of workshops, more police, brighter lights and late-night buses.

Crimes committed this fall on or near campus have included sexual assaults and armed robberies of students.

The report on the U of M's crime alert figures comes a day after President Barack Obama signed a memorandum creating a task force to respond to campus rapes nationwide, NBC News reports.

The White House said one out of five female college students are sexually assaulted, which the president called “unacceptable.”

According to The Associated Press, Obama called sexual assault "an affront on our basic decency and humanity."

"We need to encourage young people, men and women, to realize that sexual assault is simply unacceptable," Obama said.

U of M officials recorded 25 reports of forcible sex offenses in 2010, 18 in 2011 and 22 in 2012, the Star Tribune reports.

Obama has given administration officials 90 days to come up with ideas for colleges to combat sexual violence and other suggestions.

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