While the recently released UCSB crime report shows a dramatic drop in Isla Vista drug and liquor arrests, local law enforcement agencies attribute the discrepancy to a change in reporting requirements.
When the Clery Report – an annual campus safety report issued by universities across the country – was initially released, it announced that there were 1,280 fewer liquor law arrests in I.V. in 2007 than in 2006. It also reported that there were only four drug arrests in I.V. last year.
As it turns out, the UCSB Police Dept. and the Isla Vista Foot Patrol were not concealing any information about 2007’s statistics – they were being too forthright with 2006’s numbers.
UCPD Captain Mike Foster said that although the Clery Report has a section for crimes committed in Isla Vista, the report’s parameters actually exclude the majority of the incorporated town. In 2006, Foster said the police department and the IVFP reported all the crimes in I.V., but in 2007 they complied with the report’s specific requirements.
“In the past we had tried to do what we thought was the right thing and report statistics for all of I.V., which we thought provided a more accurate reflection,” Foster said. “But the Department of Education did not want that. This year they requested statistics only for property immediately adjacent to campus. That way when they compare crime with other campuses they are using the same criteria.”
In a move to streamline statistics with other college campuses, Foster said the crime report now only accounts for public property directly within, next to or bordering UCSB, though it still classifies the land as Isla Vista.
“The Clery Act only wants property immediately adjacent to I.V.,” Foster said. “So the statistics reported only account for property physically connected to campus and campus affiliated organizations.”
Portions of I.V. included in this year’s Clery Report only list the sidewalk attached to campus and campus-affiliated property such as university-recognized fraternity and sorority houses, off-campus student housing complexes, Embarcadero Hall and I.V. Theater.
In addition to shaving off much of the unincorporated area of I.V., the new report also fails to account for Drunk in Public and Driving Under the Influence charges.
During the same time frame captured by the 2007 Clery Report, Isla Vista Foot Patrol Lt. Brian Olmstead said his department cited 848 individuals for Minor in Possession, 513 for Open Containers, 545 for Drunk in Public and made 224 drug arrests.
However, Olmstead said the technicalities of the Clery Report make it difficult to reconcile the apparently contradicting statistics.
“The reports are like apples and oranges – you just can’t compare them, because Clery is designed to meet specific qualifications to match other universities,” Olmstead said. “You can’t compare Clery, which does not include all of I.V., with I.V. statistics. You must actually look at both reports separately and understand that they overlap.”
Each year the Clery Report compiles uniform crime statistics to provide safety information for the campus community and prospective students and employees. Statistics on the reported occurrences of criminal activity are made public in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.
Next year, Barbara Ortiz, special projects coordinator in the Office of Student Life, said the campus plans to clarify and better communicate Clery standards in order to avoid incongruities such as those present in 2006 and 2007 statistics.
“In the future we hope to re-format the Clery report so that each section or crime statistic category is linked to the Clery definition and any anomalies in the report are annotated for clarification,” Ortiz said in a prepared statement.
Additionally, Ortiz said prospective Clery Reports will provide accesses to complete I.V. crime statistics in order to create a more coherent data base of campus crime.
“UCSB will include a section or link pertaining to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol crime statistics that is not a part of the official Clery Report but will provide a more accurate picture of what is taking place in the Isla Vista community,” Ortiz said in the statement.