Arson, hate crimes up 150 percent in 2016, says updated UC police safety report

Saya Coronado/Staff

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UCPD recently released its revised 2017 Annual Fire Safety and Security Report, which revealed a decrease in reported rapes and aggravated assaults and an increase in drug abuse violations compared to the previous report.

In accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act, the report contains crime statistics and campus security policies. On April 3, UCPD completed its crime data collection and revised the data on pages 26 and 27 of the report, which includes data regarding robbery, rape and aggravated assault, among other crimes.

The Clery Act requires federally funded colleges and universities to annually publish campus security policies and crime statistics by Oct. 1. Crime statistics are compiled from reports from UCPD, local law enforcement and “campus security authorities,” according to the UCPD website.

“The university is situated in a densely populated, urban environment, where crime remains a challenge,” UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich said in an email. “Most concerning to us is the increase in robberies and aggravated assaults reported last year. But we’re also seeing an increase in the number of thefts and car thefts. This is consistent with what we’re seeing throughout Alameda County.”

According to the revised report, in 2015, 29 incidents of rape were reported on or near campus. In 2016, the number of reported incidents of rape increased to 53, reflecting an 83 percent increase. According to the previous, unrevised report, however, there were 40 reported rapes in 2015 and 63 reported rapes in 2016.

The revised report also included data on motor vehicle theft — 35 were reported in 2015 and 70 were reported in 2016, reflecting a 100 percent increase. Other significant changes between 2015 and 2016 include a 150 percent increase in arson and a 28 percent increase in aggravated assault.

According to the unrevised report, 150 drug abuse violations occurred in 2016. In the revised report, however, the number of violations increased to 161. In contrast, aggravated assault decreased from 27 to 23.

Two hate crimes occurred in 2015 while five occurred during 2016, according to the revised report, reflecting differences in crime rates from the previous report, which stated that seven hate crimes occurred in 2016.

According to Reich, UCPD plans to continue releasing Nixle alerts regarding local crimes and providing safety tips so that students may make informed decisions and enhance their safety.

UCPD is also trying to find ways to work within its budget constraints, Reich added. UCPD changed staffing schedules last year to increase the number of officers on each shift and continues safety patrols, along with BPD, to address crime on the south side of campus.

“Student safety is our top concern, and we will continue to implement crime reduction strategies that reduce the incidence and fear of crime,” Reich said in an email.

Contact Jenny Weng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @jennyweng1999.