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Police Connect Crime to Football

As the University of Missouri gears up for its final conference home football game this Saturday, police say the football weekends have had an impact on crime.Before the season started, many predicted larger and rowdier crowds in Columbia because of the new affiliation with the Southeastern Conference.University of Missouri police say underage drinking continues to be a problem and as SEC games continue to bring bigger crowds to town, police see they are seeing an increase in alcohol-related incidents.Officers say 10 Below is one of a few bars where police often find underage drinking. Earlier this week, ABC 17 News reported a victim was reportedly raped at the bar. Police hope that by reducing underage drinking, other crimes will decrease.Columbia Police Department reported more minors in possession in 2011 than 2012, but MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer says with with SEC fans flocking to Columbia, there should be more incidents this year.”Clearly there’d have to be,” said Weimer. “You’re adding another 70,000 people to this campus.”University police report more than a dozen MIPs on nearly every football Saturday this season. Weimer says focusing on underage drinking is a starting point for other crime prevention.”The more serious crimes that they’re referring to, many if not most of the times, they’re associated with alcohol to some degree, the perpetrator, the victim or a combination of the two,” Weimer explained.In just over nine weeks, MUPD has worked 50 reported assaults. That’s about five and a half assaults each week.”If you will look, we have sent out several more clery releases this year,” said Weimer. “Of the clery releases specially, we were just talking about, we know that there was alcohol related to some of those.”Weimer says a number of factors weight into those numbers. Compared to the 2011 season, this season has had more home games in September and October. Most of them have been night games, which increases the length of time people are drinking and their level of intoxication.Businesses managers say they are expecting one of their biggest turnouts of the season this weekend because of homecoming. University police say even with big crowds expected, they will not be doing anything different this weekend compared to others.

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