The 2003 University Crime Report shows an overall increase in on-campus criminal offenses from 2002 to 2003, while reporting a decrease in arrests.
According to the report, issued this week, the total number of criminal offenses on campus rose from 54 in 2002 to 83 last year. The number of disciplinary actions and judicial referrals — for on-campus offenses ranging from drug and alcohol violations to illegal weapons possessions — increased from six to 39, while the number of on-campus arrests decreased from seven in 2002 to three last year.
University Police Chief James Perrotti denied that the report indicated a sharp increase in crimes reported to the Yale Police Department.
“I don’t think there are any real significant changes,” Perrotti said.
The 2003 report showed the sharpest increase in disciplinary actions and judicial referrals, but Perrotti suggested the number could be misleading, since disciplinary actions are usually less serious offenses and do not lead to arrests by police.
“If we don’t make an arrest, it’s not reportable by us,” Perrotti said. “If it’s something that we refer to the executive committee, then they do the reporting.”
The report showed a general increase in the number of robberies, burglaries, motor vehicle thefts and forcible sex offenses, but instances of aggravated assault decreased in 2003.
Perrotti said every university is required by federal law to submit an annual crime report that is then posted on the Department of Education Web site.
“The intent of the legislation that requires crime reporting through the Department of Education was for students, faculty, and staff, as well as perspective students, to get an idea of what crime is occurring on campus,” Perrotti said.
Security on Campus Inc. — a nonprofit advocacy group — accused Yale in September of not collecting crime data from all the sources mandated by law, and suggested the University may be underreporting crime. University officials have stood by the accuracy of previous years’ reports, but began more actively collecting data last semester.
“The report that was sent out includes incidents that come to the police, to the executive committee and other folks on campus,” University Deputy Secretary Martha Highsmith said.
The Yale Police Department is at full staff with 75 police officers who make it their “number one priority” to prevent crimes against individuals in “any type of street activity,” Perrotti said.
“I think, as a general rule, students and staff are comfortable with the service we’ve provided,” he said.
Perrotti said he has seen a significant number of positive changes to improve on-campus security in the 31 years that he has worked for the University.
“The blue phone system alone has been a great improvement,” he said. “When I came here the first system had 32 phones. Now we’re up to 250.”
Perrotti said other positive changes to improve campus security have been switching from lock and key access to Yale identification access control in residential colleges, investing over $2 million in outdoor lighting improvements and improving the nighttime shuttle and walking escort services.
“When I came here the shuttle services were nowhere near the capacity they are today,” Perrotti said.
Naomita Yadav ’05 said she has used the nighttime shuttle service before for security reasons and has found it effective.
“I have definitely used the 2-WALK service because I have section up science hill late in the evening,” Yadav said, “It’s good. They’ve responded every time.”
Highsmith said the crime report has been submitted to the Department of Education, but that it will take some time for the data to be available online.
“They’re usually a month or so behind our submissions,” she said.