Crime rate down, but sexual assaults and domestic violence up at University of Arizona

Crime rate down, but sexual assaults and domestic violence up at University of Arizona
University of Arizona campus fall 2020 (Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Crime is down at the University of Arizona, but that also comes with a spike in sexual assaults and domestic violence, that is according to a new crime report from the university.

The University of Arizona is required to disclose campus safety information in an Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.

On Thursday, the University of Arizona Police Department released its 2020 report, which compares crime statistics from 2017 to 2019.

According to the report, 40 rapes were reported last year compared to 14 in 2018 and 22 in 2017.

University of Arizona Police Chief Brian Seastone attributes the increase to more people reporting crimes.

“For years we have always said sexual assault is underreported on our campus. Through the effort of many different groups...we have really made an effort to ensure people feel comfortable in coming forward and reporting,” said Chief Seastone.

“We had a larger population of students on campus as well so anytime our numbers are increased there is always going to be an increase in the number of sexual assaults and other crimes that happen on campus,” said University of Arizona Dean of Students Liesal Folks.

According to the report, domestic violence also spiked.

In 2019, 31 reports were filed compared to 16 in 2018 and 19 in 2017.

University police also handled more burglaries in 2019, though motor vehicle theft was down.

While the university did take more disciplinary actions for drug and alcohol-related crimes, less arrests were made in 2019 than in 2018.

While the statistics are not in for 2020, Chief Seastone said with less students on campus due to COVID-19, he expects to see an overall drop in crime.

“We have seen a decrease in crime on campus, which I must say we are very happy about because I have talked to many of my colleagues around the country who are not experiencing the same things we are,” Chief Seastone said.

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