Alcohol and drug violations on the rise

Alcohol and drug violations are on the rise at UCSD, while sexual assaults and motor vehicles theft rates have stayed the same in 2002, according to the annual Clery Report published earlier this month by campus security officials.

The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires institutions of higher learning to prepare and distribute an annual report regarding campus crime statistics and security measures. The report is to be made available to all students and employees, current and prospective, so they are informed about the level of crime and security in their campus environment.

Many of the crime statistics over the past three years have remained relatively stable. For example, incidents of motor vehicle theft, arson and sex offenses by force have not experienced a notable drop or gain in frequency. The number of serious offenses reported such as murder, manslaughter or hate crimes on and around campus is virtually zero.

“”These numbers show that the UCSD campus is a comparatively safe place to be,”” UCSDPD Sergeant Bob Jones said. “”In relation to the city of San Diego, being on campus is dramatically safer.””

The crime statistics are organized into charts, which span the three years prior to the report’s publication: 1999, 2000 and 2001.

The statistics are also divided into four reporting locations: on campus; on-campus residential life buildings; non-campus property, including the La Jolla Del Sol Apartments, the Delta Gamma and Sigma Chi houses; and public property, which concerns the area around campus, including Genesee Avenue, Torrey Pines Road and La Jolla Shores Drive.

“”I believe that security is pretty tight at and around UCSD,”” said Jay Luong, a Revelle College junior. “”It seems like any theft or crime that happens on campus is a big deal because it rarely happens.””

Episodes of burglary reported to the UCSD Police Department over the past three years have significantly dropped, falling from 63 burglaries in 1999 to 29 in 2001. In contrast, the number of reported burglary offenses increased over 10 percent throughout the rest of the UC system.

However, episodes of assault reported to the UCSD police significantly increased, from three incidents in 1999 to 11 in 2001.

“”[Incidents of] sexual offense carry the most concern,”” Jones said. “”The numbers — five in 2000 and four in 2001 — don’t reflect what’s really going on. We all know that sex offenses are underreported, and we don’t want these numbers to give anyone a false sense of security.””

Most prominently documented in the UCSD Clery Report are the dramatic increase in offenses having to do with drugs and alcohol.

Over the past three years, the cumulative number of disciplinary referrals for drug and narcotics offenses by both the UCSD Police Department and other campus security authorities has risen fivefold, skyrocketing from 27 offenses in 1999 to 148 offenses in 2001. Arrests for drug and narcotics offenses have more than doubled.

In addition, disciplinary referrals for alcohol have nearly tripled, from 345 incidents in 1999 to 922 incidents in 2001. Arrests made concerning alcohol use have increased from 66 in 1999 to 118 in 2001.

“”Drinking is a given; everyone drinks,”” Luong said. “”It’s kind of expected. And whether [the statistics] go up or down, it’s going to still be there.””

In accordance, the number of drug and alcohol-related offenses throughout the entire UC system has also increased significantly, although not by such a substantial amount.

In regards to the considerable increases, Jones was very logical.

“”We [at the UCSD Police Department] do what we need to do. We enforce the laws of the state of California, and we add the numbers at the end. We just try and keep the numbers as low as we can,”” he said.

The Clery Report is available at the UCSD Police Station, located behind the Price Center.