NOVEMBER 1, 2013
In 2012, Boston University’s Charles River Campus saw a slight decrease in crime. However, there was a large increase in violations for on-campus liquor and drug violations. Arrests for these violations did not increase, but the number of violations shot up nearly 30% of the year before.
The information was released as part of the annual report that must be released under the Clery Act. The Act passed back in 1990 and makes is so that colleges and universities in federal financial aid programs must release information on campus crime. It’s created using Boston University Police Department records, as well as those from other campus departments and neighboring police in Boston, Cambridge and Brookline.
The number of instances of aggravated assault more than doubled- there was only four incidents in 2011 and nine in 2012. Two-thirds of these cases happened on public property that neighbors the campus. There was also an increase of reported forcible sex offenses, up to 10 from 9 the previous year.
On a positive note, the number of burglaries and robberies fell drastically. BUPD reported only 46 burglaries in 2012, much less than the 63 reported in 2011. There were also only 4 robberies reported on campus and public property in 2012, down from 13 the year before. This number does not include a robbery spree last fall that lasted about two weeks and put BU students on edge- most of those did not occur on the campus or abutting public property. Therefore, reporting them is not required under the Clery Act.
That’s also true for larceny, which is defined as theft of personal property without force. Because of this, the 76 bicycles reported stolen in 2012 are not reported either. Bike theft is expected to rise this year, although it was previously decreasing for several years.
BUPD also reports on hate crimes as of 2011, when 4 crimes were reported. These crimes are usually committed using social media, and 2012 saw two incidents reported. In these cases, students were targeted based on their sexual orientation and national origin.
Fires were also up this year, to 11 incidents from 8 the year prior. Most fires were related to cooking in residences, and the damage was under $1,000 in each case.
BU’s Medical Campus saw much more crime this year, with incidents almost doubling from 6 in 2011 to 11 in 2012. There were four arrests for drug violations that occurred on public property, as opposed to a single incident in 2011. There were also two cases of motor vehicle theft, a sharp contrast with zero the year before.
BUPD Sergeant Daniel Healy stressed that the increases may be more due to differences in reporting by the police than increases in local crime.