Theft, burglary and violent crime are among the annual statistics that are now public information coming out of college and universities across the country. This marks the first year that this information has been made available to the public.
As required by the 1991 Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act), each institute submitting a report must disclose on-campus as well as nearby area incidents. Included in the report are the issuing of timely warnings pertaining to crimes, the creation of an emergency response, notification and testing policies, the compilation and reporting of an annual fire safety report as well as the enactment of policies and procedures to handle with missing students.
There has been a decrease in major criminal activity by 26 percent, according to the Columbus Dispatch. While this slight decrease is an accomplishment for Ohio colleges, the other 74 percent of criminal activity still remains a concern among students. Of the twelve University Partnership colleges at Lorain County Community College, all campuses have seen crimes with numbers ranging from single digits up into the hundreds.
With this data, varying factors must be kept in mind when considering the quantity of different crimes. Enrollment numbers and proportionality of males to females are just a few to recognize. With these statistics however, it becomes largely apparent that despite a superiority in academic status, no college is exempt from the manifestation of criminal activity.
Ohio colleges, community and universities alike, are no stranger to crime. Lorain County Community College is included in that category. While crime rates are not as high as its University Partnership colleges, there are still occasional occurrences that take place.
Between 2011 and 2013, LCCC’s main campus encountered six reportable offenses; one motor vehicle theft in 2011, one burglary in 2012 and four hate crimes in 2012. Thus far in 2014, eighteen crimes have been reported, all under the classification of larceny-theft and vandalism (with eight taking place this semester).
“Maintaining a safe learning and working environment is not only the responsibility of the Campus Security Office but everyone, including students,” said Keith Brown, LCCC’s director of campus security.
“We encourage our campus community members to maintain situational awareness and report suspicious behavior to security or a college official immediately. We try to encourage everyone to maintain possession of their valuables at all times.”
Despite being required to submit annual crime statistics to the federal government, this year was the first since the enactment of the Clery Law that the information was made accessible to the public. However, colleges across the nation not participating in federal financial aid programs are exempt from this law, as outlined in the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
The most prevalent crimes on campus in Ohio include sexual assault and alcohol violations. These types of crimes has taken place on the majority of the UP college’s main campuses, as detailed in the 2014 annual campus crime statistics reports. Hate crimes are the most commonly reported on LCCC’s campus. Burglary is another standard crime reported at LCCC and its partnership colleges, but takes place more so on campuses like Bowling Green, which saw 172 cases between 2010 and 2012, Hiram (with a total of 73 between 2011 and 2013) and JCU(with 40 reports within the last 3 years).
From 2010 to 2012, the nation’s top five universities fell victim to some variation of criminal activity. In order of ranking, Williams College in Massachusetts had 26 cases of burglary, two cases of aggravated assault, five cases of arson, one motor vehicle theft and 23 cases of forcible sexual offenses on campus, according to the U.S. Department of Education’s Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis. Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania 25 burglaries, 24 forcible sexual offenses, 133 cases of larson and 88 liquor law arrests, according to the Swarthmore’s Department of Public Safety 2013 Crime Statistics report. At Stanford University in California, 54 cases of arson were reported, 63 cases of forcible sexual offenses, 14 cases of aggravated assault, five robberies and 297 burglaries. At Princeton University in Pennsylvania, 46 cases of forcible sexual assault, two cases of aggravated assault, four motor vehicle thefts, five cases of arson and 87 burglaries occurred on campus. At Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, 16 cases of forcible sexual offenses, five robberies, three motor vehicle thefts and 43 burglaries took place on campus.