The number of crimes reported on campus and at residential facilities rose between 2016 and 2017, according to the 2018 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, which was released last Friday.
The total number of rape crimes reported on campus rose from 16 in 2016 to 22 in 2017. Out of that total in 2017, 20 of the reported instances took place in residence facilities. This does not include the three cases of statutory rape that were reported in 2017.
Ten fondling crimes were reported on campus in 2017, up from eight reported in 2016.
“Although the number of rape crimes is concerning, it does show that the victims are comfortable enough to report it,” Eric Olsen, assistant chief of police at Stony Brook University, said.
The number of burglary crimes on campus also rose, with 17 reports in 2016 and 21 in 2017. Olsen said that items such as electronics, phones and cash are stolen most frequently. “Burglaries have been one of the worst crimes because people take advantage of the trust the students have with the campus,” he added.
These statistics don’t include offenses that were said to be unfounded, false or baseless. The report said that university police found seven offenses to be unfounded: three rape incidents and four burglaries.
The statistics showed high numbers of alcohol and drug referrals as well. Though the number of drug referrals stayed the same at 171, alcohol referrals rose from 156 in 2016 to 168 in 2017. Olsen said that university police tries to limit the number of drug referrals through education programs.
Dating violence crimes are the highest they’ve been in three years, with 31 reports in 2017 compared to 24 in 2016 and 20 in 2015.
Domestic violence and stalking crimes have risen from 2016 to 2017, with 31 reports of dating violence being the highest.
Despite increases elsewhere, the number of hate crimes has stayed low. For most categories of hate crimes, there were 0 instances reported. However, there was one report of intimidation and two reports of destruction, damage and the vandalism of property in 2017. In 2016, the campus saw three reports of intimidation and no reports of destruction, damage
When asked what measures were in place to ensure students’ safety on campus, Olsen pointed to the SB Alert system which notifies the campus community of relevant emergencies and crimes through text, voice and email messaging, the university web page, campus LCD panels, voice capable fire alarm systems, the campus outdoor siren, Facebook, Twitter and other external media.
In Olsen’s eyes, “Campus safety means trusting the campus police department and the students being able to be comfortable with [them].”
The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is updated and released every year and the data collection is required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act. This act requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.
In an email sent to the campus on Friday, Chief of UPD, Robert J. Lenahan wrote “[T]he Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is a valuable resource for individuals containing information about current university policies developed to provide for the safety and security of the campus community and all visitors to our university.”