2016 Clery Report: Campus sexual assault on the rise

The University of Rhode Island released their annual Clery Report this week, disclosing all of the crimes committed on campus in within the last year.

This Clery Report lays out the statistics of campus crime during the 2016 school year. For URI, the statistics are divided into four charts, one to represent each of the campuses that make up URI: the Kingston campus, the Providence campus, the Bay Campus and W. Alton Jones in West Greenwich.

The most notable crimes that took place on the Kingston campus were 14 sexual offenses, 13 of which were rape, which all took place on campus property. The number of reported sexual assaults has gone up by 7 since 2015. The other sexual offense was one report of fondling, which remained at the same rate as the previous year.

Additionally, there was one report of aggravated assault, which is the lowest it has been in three years, and 24 reports of burglary which is up by five from the previous year.

“The number of violent crimes is fairly low but any crime is unacceptable,” said Stephen Baker, director of public safety and chief of police. “We also know that many crimes, particularly sexual assaults, do not get reported. This is an area that the University as a whole needs to continue to focus on and improve.”

There were also four reports of domestic violence and seven reports of stalking, but no reports of dating violence. Domestic violence numbers stayed the same as stalking numbers rose from the two unfounded reports in 2015. Dating violence numbers dropped from five in 2015 to none in 2016.

The largest incident rates of the report came from liquor and drug violations. In 2016, there were 67 arrests for liquor law violations, an increase from the 46 arrests in 2015. There were 601 referrals for liquor law violations, which is down 26 from the previous year.

There were also five arrests for drug violations, down by 10 since 2015, and there were no referrals for drug violations. There were no arrests for weapon violations, down from the one in 2015, but there were three referrals, which is up from zero in 2015.

The Bay campus had no reports for the 2016 school year. This is a decrease from the one report of rape, one report of aggravated assault and one report of burglary in 2015.

At the W. Alton Jones there was one report of Murder/Non-negligent Manslaughter on public property and one report of motor vehicle theft. Both numbers are up from previous years.

The Providence Campus had one report of robbery, three reports of aggravated assault and three reports of motor vehicle theft. All three reports are up from previous years. The Providence campus also reported one arrest for drug violation and two arrests for weapon violations, both up from previous years.

The Kingston campus only had one report of a hate crime which was one intimidation/harassment change regarding sexual orientation. The other three campuses reported no hate crimes.

Fire statistics were also listed in the report. There were five reports of fire, up from the two reports in 2015. There was one unintentional electrical fire in Bressler Hall that had $900 worth of repairs and another unintentional electrical fire in Tucker Hall costing $2500. There were two reports of fire in Hillside Hall because of intentional ignition of bathroom items costing $4,350 in repairs. Hopkins Hall had one report of an intentional fire caused by matches that cost $5,000 in repairs.

Director Baker said that fire safety is a major concern for everybody in Public Safety.

“These are particularly concerning because it puts everyone in that building at risk,” he said, adding that of the three arson fires, one resulted in arrest.

“Public Safety is everyone’s business,” Baker said. “All of our community members should take pride in the beautiful facilities and grounds on our campuses and report any vandalism and destruction of property immediately to the police department. The same applies to any suspicious activity. We need everyone’s help in keeping our campuses safe.”

If you see something suspicious, a crime being committed or if you are a victim of a crime call (401) 874-2121

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Caitlyn Picard

Caitlyn is a senior journalism and English major who has been on the Cigar since her sophomore year. Now as co-News Editor, Caitlyn is hoping to gain more experience in the field that she can hopefully use in her life after URI.
caitpic@my.uri.edu