Crime on Campus

On May 4th the 18th edition of Indicators of School Crime and Safety, a joint publication of the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) was released. The report is compiled from a number of statistical data sources supported by the federal government and provides us with the most recent data available.  While improvement was seen on some fronts, ground was lost on others where increases of 100 percent or more were seen.

Criminal Incidents: In 2013, there were 27,600 criminal incidents on campuses at postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies, representing an 8 percent decrease from 2012.

Residence Halls: In 2013, more on-campus crimes overall were reported at institutions with residence halls than at institutions without residence halls – 24.2 vs. 6.2 per 10,000 students.  For example, more burglaries were reported at institutions with residence halls than at institutions without residence halls (13.9 vs. 2.9 per 10,000 students), and more forcible sex offenses were reported at institutions with residence halls than at institutions without them (4.6 vs. 0.5 per 10,000 students).

Drug Law Violations:  The number of disciplinary referrals for drug law violations reported by postsecondary institutions increased between 2001 and 2013 from 23,900 to 54,100 – a 127 percent increase.  Arrests for drug law violations increased by 70 percent, from 11,900 in 2001 to 20,100 in 2013.

Liquor Law Violations: The number of disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations increased from 130,000 in 2001 to 190,900 in 2013 – a 47 percent increase.  The number of arrests for liquor law violations in 2013 (26,600) was lower than in any year between 2001 and 2012.

Weapons Possession: The number of disciplinary referrals for illegal weapons possession was lower in 2013 (1,400) than in 2006 (1,900), but it was higher than the number of such referrals in 2001 (1,300). The number of arrests for illegal weapons possession reported by postsecondary institutions was 3 percent lower in 2013 than in 2001 (1,000 vs. 1,100).

Sex Crimes: Between 2001 and 2013, the number of reported forcible sex crimes on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 5,000 in 2013 – a 126 percent increase.  (Also of Note:  A 2015 study conducted by the Association of American Universities shows that when it comes to crimes of sexual assault or sexual misconduct only 28% or less of the most serious incidents are reported to and organization or agency.)

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