The cover of the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released on Sept. 27, 2019. Stony Brook University saw an increase in the total number of reported crime in 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY

Stony Brook University saw an increase in the total number of reported crimes in 2018.

The number went up from 473 in 2016 to 479 in 2018, according to the 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report released in a campus-wide email on Sept. 27.

The annual report is a resource that shows current endorsed University policies on maintaining campus safety and security. It also contains crime and fire statistics for campus residential buildings over the past three calendar years.

Burglary incidents nearly doubled in number, jumping from 17 in 2016 to 31 in 2018.

The number skyrocketed after a student committed 17 burglaries in 48 hours.

“If you take 17 out of 31, we are actually lower in number,” Eric Olsen, assistant chief of police at Stony Brook University, said.

Theft of unattended property has been the number one crime on campus since 2016.

Olsen mentioned that SBU students feel safe enough on-campus to leave their laptops at the library or other spots that they are studying in. “Most of the time nothing happens, but we still educate students about this,” he said.

The report also noted that fondling had spiked in number, increasing from eight in 2016 to 26 in 2018.

“We are never happy with those numbers but they show an increase of awareness and comfortability in reporting these types of incidents,” Olsen said. “If that number means that reports wouldn’t have been made in the past were made, then that is a positive.”

Drug arrests and referrals, however, are at a low. According to the report, their numbers dropped from a total of 204 in 2016 to 157 in 2018.

Olsen emphasized the effect of education programs such as the UPD alcohol awareness program and Center for Prevention and Outreach (CPO) services such as Red Watch Band and Green Dot. 

“There is a lot of education that goes on regarding this situation,” he said. “Also, society’s views have changed towards drugs and people aren’t reporting it as much as they used to. We don’t get the same amount of calls about this because they don’t see big it as an issue.”

The 2019 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report can be viewed online, or a physical copy can be requested from the University Police Department, the Department of Human Resources, or the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. The report also contains details about the University’s crime policies that introduce definitions such as harassment, drug and alcohol offenses and hate crimes.

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