students on campus

WVU students on the Evansdale campus on Friday Sept. 3rd 2021.

WVU released the legally-required annual Clery Report on Wednesday with statistics about campus crime and fire safety.

The report shows an overall decrease in reported crime on and around campus over the 2020 year when many students were not in Morgantown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Specifically, the number of reported sexual assaults, domestic violence incidents and alcohol-related crimes went down.

“This reporting cycle brought with it some anomalies largely due to the number of students who were not attending in-person classes,” Phil Scott, interim chief for University Police, said in a press release that accompanied the report. “As we all know, it was a different kind of year and some of the areas with increases may reflect that.”

While most crimes went down, there was a rise of reported burglaries last year.

In 2020, there were 26 reported burglaries. In each 2019 and 2018, there were just 18.

Scott said that there are now more surveillance cameras in certain areas, such as the College Park.

“We urge people to continue to lock their doors — both home and vehicle — check their vehicles regularly and report any suspicious behavior,” he said.

There was one murder at WVU last year, after two years without a reported murder. Eric Smith, 21, was murdered at College Park Apartments in February.

Both men involved have been convicted of murder.

Liquor law violations, both arrests and referrals for discipline, decreased significantly in 2020.

In 2019, there were 1,682 referrals and arrests for alcohol-related crimes. In 2020 there were 1080 of these crimes.

This is a 35% decrease in alcohol-related crimes.

In 2020, there were five fires in on-campus student housing.

In February, burnt waffles in a toaster oven in Brooke Tower caught on fire and caused less than $100 in damages.

At University Park Apartments and Seneca Hall, there were three fires where a cooking stove top caught on fire.

A gas power heater caught on fire at Sigma Nu fraternity in June.

The Clery Report is mandated by law to be released by Oct 1 of each year. It documents the number of certain types of crimes that are reported to police.

It does not represent the outcome of investigations by the University Police Department.

The report includes crimes occur within student housing or public property adjacent to campus.