UCSB recently released its annual campus security report, revealing a moderate change in campus crime rates.
The 2009 Clery Report — released earlier this month — found an increase in aggravated assault, burglary and larceny but a decline in alcohol and drug referrals from 2008 to 2009. The report compiles drug and alcohol referrals, crime statistics and safety policies from the UC Police Dept., Community Service Organization, Student Health, Counseling Services and other university departments.
The crime report has been required by federal law from U.S. colleges and universities since the 1986 rape and murder of Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Clery. And while the report publishes campus crimes statistics, it often offers an incomplete picture of the offenses committed in Isla Vista.
UCSB Clery Act Compliance Coordinator Barbra Ortiz said the guidelines for the report’s contents hinder the university’s ability to publish a completely comprehensive document.
“It’s supposed to give you a snapshot, but what they require you to report — as far as crimes, their definition and their geographic locations — is very narrow,” Ortiz said. “We may have had incidents that are not reflected because they don’t meet the definitions.”
Melanie Matson, director of the Rape Prevention Education Program at the UCSB Women’s Center, said there is a discrepancy between Clery Report rates for sex offenses and data documented by the Rape Prevention Education Program.
“The UCSB Clery statistics are difficult because most students live in Isla Vista so most assaults are not happening on university property,” Matson said. “Our numbers are typically higher than the Clery numbers.”
The report indicated a decline in liquor law referrals on campus from 1,128 in 2008 to 1,006 in 2009 as well as a drop in on-campus drug law referrals from 498 in 2008 to 354 in 2009.
While public property liquor law arrests rose by a whopping 43 cases to 141 in 2009, public property drug law arrests dropped from 51 in 2008 to only 42 in 2009.
Although cases of drug referrals are down, Sergeant Matt Bowman said heroin and prescription drug abuse cases are unfortunately on the rise.
In addition, reported cases of burglary increased both on campus — by 10 cases for a total of 39 in 2009 — and on public property by 125 cases for a total of 385 in 2009.
According to Bowman, bike theft remained the most common crime on campus. A UCPD system-wide report estimated the value of UCSB’s stolen bicycles at $96,000.
“The problem is ‘you stole my bike, so I’ll steal your bike,’” Bowman said. “To address the issue, we have a bicycle with a hidden GPS. If and when it gets stolen, we can follow it home. We plan to have more of them before the end of the year.”
The full Clery Report is available at http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/policies/CleryAct/.