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College crime

Question:
What information do you have on college crime?

Response:

In 2015, there were 27,500 criminal incidents against persons and property on campus at public and private 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies, representing a 2 percent increase from 2014, when 26,900 criminal incidents were reported. The number of on-campus crimes per 10,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) students1 also increased, from 18.0 in 2014 to 18.5 in 2015.

Among the various types of on-campus crimes reported in 2015, there were 12,300 burglaries2, constituting 45 percent of all criminal incidents. Other commonly reported crimes included forcible sex offenses (8,000 incidents, or 29 percent of crimes) and motor vehicle theft (3,300 incidents, or 12 percent of crimes). In addition, 2,300 aggravated assaults and 1,000 robberies3 were reported. These estimates translate to 8.3 burglaries, 5.4 forcible sex offenses, 2.2 motor vehicle thefts, 1.5 aggravated assaults, and 0.7 robberies per 10,000 FTE students.


Number of on-campus crimes reported and number per 10,000 full-time-equivalent (FTE) students in degree-granting postsecondary institutions, by selected type of crime: 2001 through 2015

The data in this figure is described in the surrounding text.

1 Includes other reported crimes not separately shown.
2 Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.
3 Theft or attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
4 Any sexual act directed against another person forcibly and/or against that person's will.

NOTE: Data are for degree-granting institutions, which are institutions that grant associate's or higher degrees and participate in Title IV federal financial aid programs. Some institutions that report Clery Act data—specifically, non-degree-granting institutions and institutions outside of the 50 states and the District of Columbia—are excluded from this figure. Crimes include incidents involving students, staff, and on-campus guests. Excludes off-campus crimes even if they involve college students or staff. Some data have been revised from previously published figures.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036), Figure 22.1.


On-campus crime patterns can also be examined over time. Between 2001 and 2015, the overall number of reported crimes decreased by 34 percent. During this time, the number of reported on-campus crimes first increased by 7 percent between 2001 and 2006 (from 41,600 to 44,500). The number of reported on-campus crimes then decreased by 40 percent between 2006 and 2014 (from 44,500 to 26,900), before increasing by 2 percent between 2014 and 2015 (from 26,900 to 27,500). The number of on-campus crimes reported in 2015 was lower than the number reported in 2001 for every category except forcible sex offenses and murder.4

The number of reported forcible sex offenses on campus increased from 2,200 in 2001 to 8,000 in 2015 (a 262 percent increase).5 The number of reported murders was higher in 2015 than in 2001 (28 vs. 17), but the number of reported murders was quite variable across these years with no clear pattern of increase or decrease.

In 2015, there were 860 criminal incidents classified as hate crimes that occurred on the campuses of public and private 2-year and 4-year postsecondary institutions that were reported to police and security agencies. The most common type of hate crime reported by institutions was destruction, damage, and vandalism (363 incidents), followed by intimidation (357 incidents), simple assault (79 incidents), larceny (25 incidents), aggravated assault (19 incidents), forcible sex offenses (6 incidents), burglary (4 incidents), robbery (3 incidents), and arson and motor vehicle theft (2 incidents each). For murder and nonforcible sex offenses, there were no incidents classified as hate crimes in 2015.

1The base of 10,000 FTE students includes students who are enrolled exclusively in distance learning courses and who may not be physically present on campus.
2Unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or theft.
3Taking or attempting to take anything of value using actual or threatened force or violence.
4The number of negligent manslaughter offenses was the same in 2001 and 2015 (2 incidents).
5Data on reported forcible sex offenses were collected differently in 2014 and 2015 than in prior years. In 2014 and 2015, schools were asked to report the numbers of two different types of forcible sex offenses, rape and fondling, and these were added together to reach the total number of reported forcible sex offenses. In years prior to 2014, schools only reported a total number of reported forcible sex offenses, with no breakouts for specific types of offenses. About 5,100 rapes and 2,900 fondling incidents were reported in 2015.

SOURCE:U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2018). Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2017 (NCES 2018-036), Indicator 22 and Indicator 23.

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