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Increase in drug-related arrests at GMU attributed to concerts

Saturday - 10/6/2012, 9:52am  ET

Michelle Basch, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - On a local college campus, police are reporting a tenfold increase in arrests for drug offenses over the past three years.

George Mason University counted 11 drug arrests on public property around the main Fairfax campus in 2009. In 2010, that number jumped to 34. In 2011, it jumped again to 120, according to the school's latest annual security and fire safety report.

Mike Lynch, the chief of university police, thinks concerts held at the Patriot Center are the main reason for the increase - concerts that attract big crowds of people from far beyond campus.

Lynch tells the Fairfax Times that a large number of drug arrests were made at a recent Soundgarden concert. A performance by Further ended with 40 drug arrests.

Another reason for the spike might be that the school opens a new residence hall each year, increasing the number of young people living on campus, Lynch says.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)