The University Police Department (UPD) revised its campus crime statistics on Sept. 27, showing a large decrease in the number of burglaries between 2010 and 2011.
The updates to the report included adding the 2011 crime statistics, according to Police Records Manager Fred Mills.
“It’s important because we want people to have a clear picture about the safety of campus,” Mills said. “The statistics that we publish are pretty consistent.”
According to the report, campus crimes, burglaries in particular, peaked in 2010. Mills said this was due in part to an incident in which a subject with a master key to dorm rooms was able to burglarize multiple rooms. In 2011, however, the numbers dropped to a more normal level with seven accounts of burglary on campus.
Students seem to feel safe on campus lately, though they take caution.
“Personally, I take an extra step in locking my bedroom door,” food science freshman Laura Yassa said. “Whether it’s just going to class or out to VG’s, I know that I can trust those around me to not come into my dorm and take things. But it has happened before, so I just make sure that I am as careful as I can be.”
Environmental horticulture science junior Ryan Salman agreed, saying he felt “the majority of students here are very trustworthy.”
The information was released and updated as a provision of the Clery Act, a piece of legislation that works to keep crime information public. According to Mills, the act does not include petty theft or larceny incidents simply because it was written as a national statute which does not treat all incidents the same way. He said though bicycle theft is probably the most common theft on campus, it is not reported in the statistics because it does not usually fit the definition of burglary.
“Burglary is entry into a structure with the intent to commit a theft or other crime,” Mills said.
In addition to burglaries, reported drug and alcohol law violations have remained steadily higher than most types of crimes. The latest statistics show that 2011 saw 25 total drug law violations on campus, 21 of which reportedly occurred in residential halls. There were fewer liquor law violations, adding up to five on campus throughout the year.
“There’s been a lot of awareness training going on, so we’re not seeing as many alcohol violations as in the past,” Mills said. “I’m not sure if that means people are more aware, or they’re just not getting caught.”
In regards to unreported incidents, Mills said they assume there are some criminal acts that are not reported, but that is an educated speculation.
“We know there’s some crime that’s not reported, but it’s really hard to estimate how much there is,” Mills said.
The importance of these statistics was apparent to both UPD and students alike.
“It’s important mainly because Cal Poly can be considered a city within a city,” Salman said. “It’s just awareness, because even though we’re adults, we still need protection.”
More recent crime history may be found in the logs UPD has available for students at the campus office and online. These logs record all incidents in the last 30 days.
The report also includes a record of the various areas where UPD has jurisdiction, which includes some off-campus areas, such as streets that run onto campus and fraternity and sorority houses.