Crime Jumps on Tennessee College Campuses
Violent crime on the state’s college campuses increased significantly last year, according to a recent report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
In 2003, crime like rape, assaults and kidnappings was up 21.3 percent from the previous year.
The largest jump was in kidnapping, going from just one offense in 2002 to 16 in 2003. Overall, the number of violent crime offenses increased from 122 in 2002 to 148 in 2003. The most common violent crime was aggravated assault, with 61 offenses.
The statistics are from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s 2003 “Crime on Campus” report that compiles statistics on every university and college in the state each year, said TBI spokeswoman Beth Denton.
Nonviolent crimes increased 11.7 percent on the campuses. The most common crime overall in 2003 was theft from a building, with 1,935 cases — a 12.5 percent increase over 2002.
“This is meant to help local law enforcement and school administrators in the fight against crime,” Denton said. “It creates awareness, shows crimes do exist and highlights those that pose a threat to a community or campus.”
Officials said part of the increase can be attributed to more students attending Tennessee colleges.
At the University of Memphis, theft increased 13 percent, going from 200 cases in 2002 to 226 the next year. At the same time, though, enrollment increased less than 1 percent.
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville saw a similar increase with theft jumping 15 percent — even as enrollment dropped, according to the TBI report.
Middle Tennessee State University saw a 27 percent spike in theft from 2002 to 2003, with 200 cases compared to 157 the previous year. At that campus, assault was up 35 percent, with 65 offenses compared to 48 the previous year.
Some campuses, though, reported decreases in crime.
At the University of the South at Sewanee, crimes dropped 12 percent from 158 to 139, the report showed. The top offenses at the rural school’s campus included liquor law and drug violations and burglary. No violent crimes were reported. n
— Associated Press
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