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Business and Policy Areas
Business and Policy Areas

Campus Safety and Security Statistics Released

July 28, 2015

A recent report by the Departments of Education and Justice shows college and university campuses are becoming safer overall. The  Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2014 report, based on required crime reporting under the Clery Act, shows crime rates per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) students have fallen steadily since 2001. While the majority of the data focuses on K-12 schools, the publication now includes reported criminal incidents and hate crimes on college and university campuses.

Between 2001 and 2012, reports of forcible sex offenses rose 36 percent. During that same period, reported crimes against persons and property on campus steadily decreased from 35.6 per 10,000 FTE to 19.4 per 10,000 FTE, a drop of 45 percent. Burglaries represented the majority of the crimes reported in 2012 at 61 percent, while motor vehicle theft represented 10 percent.

Additionally, the report details the number of arrests for illegal weapons possession and drug and liquor law violations, as well as referrals for disciplinary action for those offenses. Arrest data are fairly flat over time, but referrals for disciplinary action have increased. Referrals rates for liquor law violations peaked in 2006 and trended downward before seeing modest increases in the last two years. 

The report also examines hate crime motivations and effects. In 2012, there were 791 incidents specifically classified as hate crimes on college and university campuses, with destruction, damage, and vandalism accounting for the majority (412 incidents). Intimidation was the second most often reported hate crime (261 incidents).

Race was the most frequent category of bias associated with the three most common types of hate crimes reported in 2012, accounting for "46 percent of reported vandalisms classified as hate crimes, 45 percent of reported intimidations, and 44 percent of reported simple assaults," the report states. 

Sexual orientation followed as the second most frequent category of bias among the reported hate crimes. "One-quarter of vandalism and intimidation hate crimes and 28 percent of simple assaults were classified with sexual orientation as the motivating bias," the report explains. 

Detailed data on criminal incidents and hate crimes on college and university campuses can be found online in the full report.


Bryan Dickson
Senior Policy Analyst