Crime Report Shows Spike in Drug -Related Arrests

    The number of cited campus-area crimes has decreased over the past year, with burglary and motor vehicle theft at their lowest levels since 2005, according to the annual Clery Campus Security Report released last week.

    The report indicates that in 2007, the UCSD Police Department, San Diego Police Department, Campus Security Authorities and UCSD Medical Center recorded 63 burglaries and 67 motor vehicle thefts, a decrease from the 2006 report, which showed 102 burglaries and 152 motor vehicle thefts. The number of sex offenses by force, aggravated assault, arson and robbery remained relatively consistent with 2006 figures.

    Despite the stagnant and downward crime trends in the greater San Diego area, certain types of on-campus crime have increased since 2006. In 2007, the UCSD Police Department reported two sex offenses by force, following a decrease from eight such offenses in 2005 to zero in 2006. The number of aggravated assaults also rose, from two in 2006 to five in 2007, as did the number of robberies, from one in 2006 to two in 2007. Arson, however, decreased from five incidents in 2006 to four in 2007.

    The number of arrests due to drug, narcotics and alcohol possession more than doubled last year, with 76 made for drug and narcotics possession and 100 for alcohol possession, compared to the 34 and 36 arrests made, respectively, in 2006.
    The number of disciplinary referrals handed out by campus authorities and the UCPD also increased, from 131 in 2006 to 247 in 2007. Drug-related disciplinary referrals totaled 1,591 in 2007, an increase from the 1,382 in 2006.

    According to Police Chief Orville King, the trends observed in this year’s report do not necessarily determine the course of future police activity. King referred to the report as a “retrospective analysis of the last academic year,” which is more “informational than actionable.” Rather than act upon the trends found in the report, the UCPD acts in accordance with day-to-day happenings.
    “Our crime numbers are low, so trends aren’t easily detected,” King said.

    He added that the statistics gathered by the report provide no conclusive evidence of patterns in crime.

    “Also, because our numbers are low, a high percentage increase in a particular crime does not necessarily indicate a trend,” he said. “While Clery reports activity of the previous year, our police department tracks activity in real time to try and identify and respond to trends as they develop.”

    The UCPD does not plan to implement any new changes based on the report’s statistics.

    “Our statistics are fairly consistent, so no significant changes in our methods of enforcement are planned at this time,” King said.

    The report, required under the Jean Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, catalogs the number of crimes reported on and around university campuses over the past three years as well as the policies used for crime reporting and prevention, campus security and student discipline.

    The act requires all colleges and universities participating in financial-aid programs to record and publicly release information on crime that occurs on campus and in surrounding areas, as well as to keep updated warnings on any potential threats to residents.

    Failure to abide by these requirements could cause suspension in federal financial-aid programs and a civil penalty amounting to as much as $27,500 per violation.

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