UPD releases annual Clery Report
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 07:09
The West Virginia University Police Department recently released its annual Clery Report, the campus security and fire safety report for 2011.
This report includes WVU Campus Crime Statistics for the last three years and fire safety statistics. Information about WVU policies related to campus security, alcohol and drug use, crime prevention, reporting of sexual assault, fire safety and other information are included in the report.
The Clery 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.
Named after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery, a freshman student at Leigh University who was raped and murdered in her residence hall – the Clery Act was put in effect in 1998 as an adaptation to the federal 1990 Campus Crime Awareness Act.
"We’re required to report felony, murder, forcible and nonforcible sexual assault – nonforcible meaning incest or sexual assault – robberies, aggravated assault, arson and motor vehicle theft," said UPD Chief Bob Roberts.
Roberts said University police felt it was important to also add destruction of property, simple assault and theft to its list, as he believes those are some of the most prevalent issues on campus.
"We added those because they are the three most prevalent on our campus. We believe the student body should know what those statistics are," he said.
Since 2006, the number of on-campus liquor law offenses and arrests have been on the rise, according to the report.
From 2010-11, the number of liquor law offences rose from 366 in 2010 to 493 in 2011.
The number of liquor law violations that resulted in an arrest went from 529 in 2010 to 640 in 2011.
According to the report, the number of drug, liquor and weapons crime offenses has risen from 1.263 percent in 2006, to 1.945 percent of the WVU population in 2011.
While the number of alcohol related infractions has been on the rise over the past few years, Roberts said there are many factors that play into the statistics, which can be easily overlooked.
"I think what you’ll see at West Virginia University are more aggressive statutes in place than you’ll see at any other campus," Roberts said.
Roberts said perhaps the largest contributing factor to the statistics is the number of issued referrals grouped along with offenses.
Rather than issuing a citation or an arrest, Roberts said a referral allows the police officer or residence assistant to handle the situation personally through the judicial system on a case-by-case basis.
Roberts said another contributing factor to the rise of violations are downtown bar regulations and the layout of WVU as compared to other campuses.
"Some campuses are spread out in a square block," he said. "That’s not Morgantown. Our campus is spread out throughout the city."
Roberts said WVU’s rise in alcohol-related offenses is no different than any other large university’s statistics.
"They are most of our arrests, but that’s not unusual at a large public university. We mirror society in that respect," he said.
As an effort to combat the rising statistics, Roberts said WVU has initiated multiple alcohol education programs for first- time offenders.
"If a first-time offender is cited, we actually have a counseling program that, if they complete it, their citation will be dismissed," he said. "We want people to be responsible."
Roberts said as compared to previous years, UPD has seen more reports of violent crimes and theft. However, the rise has not yet reached a significant level.
Students received a copy of the report via MIX last week.
For more information or to view the report, visit www.police.wvu.edu/clery_reporting_crime_statistics_incident_log.