UCPD Annual Security Report shows decrease in sex offenses, thefts

Dani Sundell/Senior Staff

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The campus saw a decrease in sex offenses and a decrease in theft between 2014 and 2015, according to UCPD’s Annual Security Report released Saturday.

There were 13 rapes reported on campus last year, a decrease from the 15 reported in the previous year. Reported fondlings on campus, however, increased from nine in 2014 to 24 in 2015. Additionally, the report found an increase in frequency of domestic violence and dating violence; incidences of stalking, however, have declined.

Since October 2014, UCPD has collected more specific data on sex offenses through new categories — such as rape and fondling — established after the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act in 2013.

The report also found that robberies and burglaries on campus have declined from 2014. The former has dropped from 23 in 2014 to nine in 2015, and the latter fell from 61 in 2014 to 34 the next year.

Additionally, UCPD made 24 arrests in 2015 as a result of liquor law violations on campus, a decrease from its 35 arrests the year before.

In her statement prefacing the security report, UCPD Chief Margo Bennett said UCPD has been improving its security report each year in order to better comply with the Clery Act. She said in the report that UCPD hired an external consultant in the past year to audit its reporting processes.

“We have implemented a number of crime reduction strategies, including robbery suppression with the Berkeley Police Dept., night safety programs, predictive policing strategies and increased patrols in the south campus community,” said UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich in an email.

Boomer Vicente, a campus senior who formerly served on the city Police Review Commission and is a current member of the campus Police Review Board, acknowledged the improved crime rates and that communication between BPD and UCPD can be difficult because of differences in protocols, such as their response to protests.

“It’s difficult to hold police departments accountable if they have different policies,” Vicente said.

Under the Clery Act, all colleges and universities that receive federal funding must share information about campus crime and the school’s efforts related to student safety.

Contact Justin Sidhu at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @dc_justinsidhu.