Colleges Experience Increase in Campus Crime, Education Department Says
Robberies and sex offenses are up on college campuses, while homicides and aggravated assaults are down, the U.S. Department of Education says in what will become an annual snapshot of security on college campuses.
The department gathered data from 6,300 institutions as part of its first comprehensive report on campus crime. Colleges and universities have had to gather annual crime data since 1990, but only in 1998 did Congress require the federal government to collect and tabulate the information.
From 1998 to 1999, sex offenses increased 6 percent overall, from 2,337 to 2,469, the department said. The increase may be due to better crime reporting. Public four-year institutions reported the most on-campus sex offenses, with 1,288 in 1999. Private four-year colleges reported 857 of these offenses, while 250 occurred at public two-year or community colleges.
The number of robberies increased by 7 percent, to 1,997, for 1999, the study said. This increased data is “at odds with the national downward trend” in robberies, the department said in its report, The Incidence of Crime on the Campuses of U.S. Postsecondary Education Institutions.
Elsewhere, the number of murders and aggravated assaults declined, while motor vehicle thefts increased compared to 1999. The number of hate crimes also increased in 1999, but the department said this increase may be due to incorrect reporting by some institutions. For more information, visit the department’s Web site <www.ed.gov>.
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