Campus safety report shows increase in drug, alcohol violations

Police arrested several times as many individuals for on-campus drug abuse violations during 2012 as they did in previous years, according to a new report on campus safety.

The report, which Associate Vice President for Administration Janet Linder emailed to the Yale community Monday afternoon, showed that criminal offenses on campus stayed relatively steady from 2011 to 2012, while the number of arrests for drug abuse violations, as well as the number of disciplinary actions for liquor law violations, spiked. Compiled annually in accordance with federal law, the report uses federally mandated definitions concerning the locations and types of crimes in order to allow for comparisons across college campuses.

Though Yale’s number of on-campus burglaries increased in 2012, the number of burglaries remains much lower than it was several years ago. Between 2004 — the earliest year for which Yale’s data is publicly available — and 2009, the average number of on-campus burglaries each year was 78, while on-campus burglaries between 2009 and 2012 ranged from 28 to 38 each year.

“Thanks to the determined efforts of public safety professionals throughout this city and the entire Yale community, crime continues on a downward trend, on campus and in New Haven,” Steven Woznyk, assistant chief of the Yale Police Department told the News in a Monday email. “The men and women of the Yale Police and Yale Security continue to work hard each and every day to keep the campus safe.”

Fifty-two arrests for drug abuse violations took place in 2012 — nearly five times the number of arrests made in 2011. Disciplinary actions for liquor law violations also increased from seven in 2011 to 52 in 2012.

Yale College Dean’s Office Director of Student Affairs Hannah Peck DIV ’11, a member of the YCDO Task Force on Alcohol and Other Drugs, said that changes in social hosting laws may have been one contributing factor to the increase in alcohol citations.

The University has also recently altered its alcohol policies to include mandatory registration of off-campus parties and tighter regulations on tailgates.

Still, Peck added that it is impossible to tell from the numbers alone whether the increase is part of a trend in student behavior.

“It’s just one plot point. You need next year and the year after […] to see was it a fluke or was it not,” she said.

According to the report, the number of forcible sex offences reported on campus dropped slightly last year, from 18 in 2011 to 16 in 2012, as did motor vehicle thefts, from 11 to seven.

Victoria Hall-Palerm ’15, whose suite in the Berkeley North Court experienced a burglary in September 2012, said she thinks the Yale Police generally do a good job of ensuring campus safety.

“I do think what happened to me was a bit of an anomaly,” she said, adding that her laptop and her suitemate’s backpack, which were both taken from their common room, were recovered within minutes by the Yale Police. But she added that these items were only returned to their owners four months later because they were considered criminal evidence.

Woznyk said that Yale Police and Yale Security have adjusted the assignments of uniformed security officers to increase the visibility of staff in the evening and to enhance their ability to assist the YPD in the detection and deterrence of crime.

“I just sort of try to pay as little attention to [crime] as possible, because I think it would be really easy to become paranoid,” said Hall-Palerm.

The new report presents crime statistics from 2010, 2011 and 2012 in accordance with the Clery Act, which requires the University to submit this data annually to the U.S. Department of Education.

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