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UAPD Releases 2016 Crime on Campus Report

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Heather Newberry and HEATHER_NEWBERRY | The Daily Wildcat

Officer Moreno of the Tucson Police Department looks on over the Tucsonans Against Racism Protest and Rally on Congress Street in downtown Tucson on Aug. 22. While most crime categories had little to no significant change in reporting, hate crime incidents increased from no reported incidents in 2015 to four reported incidents in 2016.

The University of Arizona Police Department released its 2017 Clery Report on Sept. 25. The report details information on criminal offenses on campus and on university-affiliated properties. The report compares crimes rate from 2016 to crime rates from 2015 and 2014.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act, which passed congress in 1990, requires all public universities monitor and report information on crimes committed on and near their campuses.

Crimes are further broken down, categorizing which incidents took place on campus, off campus and in residential facilities. Certain types of crimes, specifically violent crimes against women, are tracked as part of the Violence Against Women Act. 

Reports of rape increased at the UA during the last year. Twenty-four incidents were reported in 2016, up from 18 incidents in 2015 but down from 28 reports in 2014.

“We hope that people are reporting these crimes much more often,” Brian Seastone, UAPD chief, said in regards to the increased number of sexual assault reports. “We want them to report it so we know that a crime occurred, and most of all so that they can get the support that they need.”

Both Seastone and Dean of Students Kendal Washington White stressed the university’s commitment to helping sexual assault survivors feel safe, largely through the sexual assault and trauma services provided at Oasis Center on campus.

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Perpetrators of sexual assault at the UA are rarely held accountable for their actions. “It’s very few,” said Seastone, in regards to the number of perpetrators who are punished, or even identified. “Many times, the victim won’t even give us the name of the individual that they were involved with.”

Other sex-related crimes also saw an increase. Fondling increased to six reports, up from two reports in 2015. And dating violence increased to 10 reports, up from four reports in 2015. Reports of aggravated assault decreased to seven in 2016, as opposed to 11 in 2015. Last year saw no reports of arson, a decrease from two reports in 2015.

Burglary also saw an increase in reporting. Incidents of burglary in 2016 totaled 44, up from 33 reports in 2016.

Seastone cited tough economic times as a possible reason for the increase in burglaries. Robbery, in which the victim is actively involved in the theft, decreased to three from four reports in 2015.

Hate crimes saw a significant increase. In 2015, one hate crime was reported at the UA. In 2016, four occurrences were reported. Two resulted in criminal damage, and no suspect was identified in either case. Another was a physical assault, in which the victim did not prosecute. One was a second-hand report.

Seastone considers the increase in hate crimes a reflection of changes that occurred in the country during the past year.

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Reports of stalking decreased dramatically down to two reports in 2016, as opposed to 13 reports in 2015.

Disciplinary actions for liquor law violations rose to 763 from 457 in 2015.

Drug law arrests dropped to 119 reported cases from 125. Drug law violations dropped to 123 from 130.

“We know that in this population, people are gonna make mistakes,” Seastone said. “However, the university offers opportunities for students to avoid having their lives permanently altered by small infractions.”

The UA’s Diversion Program allows students to have certain misdemeanors dismissed after completion of the program.

“Our goal is to educate our students,” Washington White said. “I know that oftentimes people want us to punish and kick students out of school, but that’s not what we want to do because we are an institute of higher education — not just in the classroom, but also outside of the classroom.”


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