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Duke releases 2009 Clery crime report

The Duke University Police Department has released campus crime numbers for the 2008 calendar year in its annual Clery Security Report, as required by the federal Clery Act.

Duke University 2009 Clery Security Report

The number of robberies reported decreased from seven in 2007 to two in 2008, while the number of reported aggravated assaults increased from three to six. The number of reported burglaries decreased from 65 to 51 and the number of reported motor vehicle thefts decreased from 19 to seven. The number of forcible sex offenses was five, the same as in 2007.

DUPD officials were not available to comment on the report Tuesday.

Reports of crimes committed on and immediately adjacent to Duke's campus by or against any individual (not just students and staff) are included in the Clery Report, which institutions of higher education are required by federal law to publish each year by Oct. 1. The report excludes incidents that happen away from campus, such as the January 2008 murder of graduate student Abhijit Mahato.

Also included in the report are the number of arrests and referrals made to campus disciplinary authorities for three categories of offenses: liquor law violations, drug law violations and illegal weapon offenses. Referrals included in the report do not come only from Duke Police, but may also be made by residential staff and others.

Ten people were arrested for illegal weapons possession, down from 12 in 2007, and one person was referred to the Office of Student Conduct.

For violating alcohol laws, 320 students were referred to the Office of Student Conduct in 2008, up from 301 in 2007. Ten students were arrested, up from seven in 2007.

Sue Wasiolek, dean of students and assistant vice president for student affairs, said she was unaware of any policy changes by Duke Police or Residence Life and Housing Services that may have contributed to the increase in alcohol violations.

"My hope is that what these numbers reflect is also a wider and longer safety net, either with students calling in things or with community members making us aware of their concerns about students drinking too much or using drugs," she said. "I don’t think you can assume that these numbers are going up because there is a different level of enforcement."

Violations of drug laws led to 32 referrals and 20 arrests, up from seven and 17 respectively in 2007.

Those increase might have been the result of Residence Life and Housing Services standardizing some of its procedures for dealing with suspected illegal drug use, said Joe Gonzalez, associate dean for residential life.

At the start of the 2007-2008 academic year, RLHS put more emphasis on instructing residence assistants to call Duke Police if they suspected illegal drug use. Additionally, RAs were told to write and submit incident reports on all illegal drug use discovered to the Office of Judicial Affairs.

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