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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Crime

2020 annual Clery report shows rise in aggravated assault, burglary on campus


The 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety report shows a rise in aggravated assault and burglary, and a drop in robberies reported on campus. | Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Reported instances of aggravated assault and burglary at the University rose, while reported cases of robbery decreased in 2019 from the previous two years, according to the 2020 Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

According to the report, total on-campus reports of aggravated assault increased from 13 to 24 from 2017 to 2019.

In 2019, 62 burglary reports were filed with the UH Police Department in comparison to the 47 submitted in 2018 and the 61 in 2017. Reports of burglary dropped from 18 to 12 from 2017 to 2019.  

“There is a natural fluctuation in the numbers of individual types of crime from year to year in any area,” said UHPD Capt. Brett Collier.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                “UHPD continually patrols all areas of campus looking for any issues, monitoring cameras and access control points and regularly evaluates areas that might need additional technology or attention,” Collier added.

The document, also known as the Clery report, compiles crime statistics from internal University sources and external law enforcement agencies. Emailed to the University community on Sept. 30, the report features information on a variety of offense types for the previous three years.

Media production sophomore Autumn Johnson said that she feels safe on campus and the security presence helps to mitigate her concerns about walking around campus alone or at night. 

“I am almost always walking around with a friend, which makes things that much easier,” Johnson said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 “When I get off work late at night and am parking my car at 1, or 2 or 3 a.m., there’s almost always either (UH) police or Parking (and) Transportation sitting in the parking lot, which makes me feel a lot better as well, just knowing they’re there,” Johnson added.

Psychology sophomore Chinelo Dike said that she also felt relatively safe on campus, but the rate of crime reported at UH caused concern. 

“As a freshman last year, I felt pretty safe, considering the late-night rides offered and the emergency poles. I think it’s great that we have (them), but not all the poles worked and there are parts of campus that I avoided when walking at night because of the limited light,” Dike said. 

 The report also includes data on reported instances of stalking and rape, with the former experiencing a decrease and the latter an increase. Total on-campus reports of stalking fell from 90 to 66 from 2018 to 2019, while reports of rape rose from 11 to 20 in the same period. 

The drop in stalking cases comes after a spike in reported stalking cases on campus over a three-year period, according to previous reporting by The Cougar

The rise in reported rapes may not correlate to an increase in these instances on campus, said UH Clery coordinator Jason Marquez. 

“In recent years, awareness and prevention campaigns, both locally and nationally, have empowered witnesses and victims of certain crimes, such as rape, to come forward and report offenses that in the past may have remained unreported,” Marquez said. 

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