The University's annual report on campus security and fire safety for 2012 revealed an increase in reported burglaries and forced sex offenses but a decrease in alcohol and drug-related offenses.
In 2012 there were five more reported burglaries and four more reported forcible sex offenses than 2011, 86 fewer reported liquor law violations and 55 fewer reported drug law violations.
The document, released Tuesday, compares the data for the past three years on crimes such as robberies, forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, larceny, arson and substance use. Numbers were reported based on the location where they occurred, separated into crimes occurring in on-campus areas, residential facilities, non-campus areas and public property.
Emergency Coordinator Kyle Cavanaugh noted that these increases are generally treated by the University as cyclical changes that do not hold much importance.
“You’re going to have variations from year to year,” Cavanaugh said. “If you take a look… at the mode of theft in the kind of area, you see those go up and down over the course of time. What we’re always looking at are where the trends are.”
Cavanaugh added that both the demonstrated increase in burglaries and forcible sex offenses could be explained by an upsurge in reporting, which he has noticed in the past few years.
“One of the things that…is continuing to happen not only on our campus but on other campuses [is that] people are getting more routinely comfortable about reporting various incidents,” Cavanaugh said. “The virtue of things being reported is increasing.”
He noted that 2011 was a particularly high year for alcohol- and drug-related offenses, rising from 452 liquor law violations in 2010 to 628 violations in 2011, and 34 drug law violations to 110. Cavanaugh explained that there were particularly high reporting trends in 2011.
2012, however, saw a sudden decrease in violations, with 522 liquor law violations and 55 drug law violations.
Although the report is published each year, Cavanaugh noted that the University generally monitors crime in “real time” and only utilizes the report to look at “trends and systemic issues.” Cavanaugh emphasized the University’s day-to-day review process of campus criminal activity.
Vice President for Student Affairs Larry Moneta said that the University would react accordingly if the report ever revealed harmful trends.
“Like any report that quantifies an incident of behavior, the most important thing to identify [is] any trends that would suggest potential harm for anyone at Duke and to try to figure out strategies to mitigate those risks,” Moneta said.
The majority of the report outlines campus security services and guidelines and offers tips for how students can stay safe on campus. The University is required to publish the report annually because of the Jeanne Clery Act, a law that requires universities to alert students of crimes in a timely manner and devise an emergency notification plan.
The report was sent to the University community via a campus-wide email and is available online. Statistics were also reported for the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina.