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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Campus Safety, Security and Fire Report reveals more sexual assaults are reported at UA

University of Arizona Police Department released their annual Campus Safety, Security and Fire Report on Sept. 30.

The release of the report, which contains statistics from the 2014 calendar year, is done in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crimes Statistics Act and was released before the Oct. 1, 2015 deadline. The report contains data from crimes ranging from liquor law arrests to manslaughter and dates from 2012 to 2014.

“One crime against a person is too many,” UAPD Chief Brian Seastone said. “However, we are very fortunate that we have not had a higher number of crimes against people and crimes against property on our campus for being a major university in a major city in the [U.S.].”

One of the larger increases in amount of offenses in the report is for forcible sexual offenses, which is something Seastone predicted would happen.

“This doesn’t mean that we see a crime trend,” Seastone said. “What we are seeing more and more, and the victims are telling us, is that they’re more comfortable coming and reporting the crimes to us now.”

Seastone emphasized the importance of reporting such crimes even if the victims do not intend to prosecute the perpetrator.

“We want them to report it so that we know what’s going on so that we can help them get the resources that they need,” Seastone said.

Domestic violence offenses also increased from five to 18 on the UA main campus in 2014. Seastone cites a revised Arizona statute that considers incidents with roommates as domestic violence to be one of the factors behind this increase. Dating violence, however, has decreased from 15 offenses in 2013 to four offenses in 2014 on the UA main campus.

“We’re hoping [the decrease in dating violence is] due to education and better communication between individuals,” Seastone said.

Robberies, which involve a threat of violence, decreased in 2014, while burglaries increased in 2014 from 29 incidents in 2013 to 41 incidents in 2014 on the UA main campus. UAPD has developed an app called LiveSafe that allows people to report crimes as long as the crimes are not in progress, which can be useful to report thefts.

“[Students] can snap a picture and they can text it to us,” Seastone said. “We’re trying to keep up with the modern age, the way people want to report things to us in a timely manner.”

Liquor law and drug law arrests have both decreased over 2014, a trend that Seastone contributes to the UAPD’s diversion program through the dean of students that can allow students to avoid criminal charges on liquor and drug law violations if they attend workshops, complete community service and fulfill certain sanctions.

“We are very proud of our diversion program and the partnership with the UAPD,” Kendal Washington White, dean of students, said. “What we do as far as sanctions and holding the students accountable is more beneficial and the students learn much more from that experience than just going through the criminal justice system process.”

Both Seastone and Washington White emphasized the importance of raising awareness about crime to students and faculty.

“We speak to the students and parents about thinking of universities as a bubble where nothing bad is going to happen when students are here,” Washington White said. “The university is a microcosm of the larger society and the issues that happen off campus happen on [campus], which is why we are very robust in the programs and services that we offer to our students.”

Seastone credits a decrease in regular theft to this raised awareness through crime prevention efforts done through police liaisons on campus. He recommends students report unusual activity to authorities and to not leave belongings unattended.

“Crime prevention is everybody’s responsibility. It takes a partnership. We see that here on our campus, through administration, through our dean of students, through our students,” Seastone said. “This is a great place. We want people to think of the [UA] as their hometown. We’re here to help.”


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