The University of Utah released its first housing-specific crime report this week.
This detailed crime data is required by state law passed in 2021, which requires Utah higher education institutions to gather information about all crimes reported to campus and local law enforcement agencies and break the statistics down by housing unit*. The report includes information about the Clery Act’s reportable offenses, which include crimes ranging from property crimes to hate crimes; sex offenses; Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses; and drug, alcohol and weapon offenses.
The Student Housing Crime Statistics Report is separate from the university’s Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (ASR), which is posted in the fall each year and then distributed via email in the fall to the entire campus community, and then again by email in the spring and summer semesters to all new U students and employees. Both reports are available online and include data from 2020. The crime statistics detailed in the housing report also are counted in the ASR.
Together, the crime reports show a decrease in Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses compared to statistics from 2019. Additionally, fondling cases, aggravated assaults, motor vehicle theft, and drug and alcohol arrests cases also decreased. This is likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which reduced the population on campus during the 2020-2021 school year.
U Safety leaders noted that rape cases peaked between 2018 and 2019—from 12 to 20 cases, presumably due to more information and resources available to the victims. During 2020, cases remained steady, with 21 total cases. The housing crime report tracked:
- Nine rapes in residential buildings operated by the university or university-registered student organizations, including fraternity and sorority houses. During the same time period, law enforcement reported one case of dating violence and three reports of stalking in on-campus or university-registered housing.
- In off-campus housing (Block 44), two rapes, one case of domestic violence and one case of dating violence, were reported.
- In University Student Apartments, 8 domestic violence incidents and one case of stalking were reported in 2020.
Those numbers do not include reports made to other offices and service providers outside of law enforcement.
“Any crime is one too many as we strive to make the University of Utah a welcoming and secure place for our students to learn, faculty to teach and staff to work,” said Keith Squires, chief safety officer. “We know that transparency and clear communication are among our most powerful tools to raise awareness about safety on our campus.
“Along with other innovations in our safety operations, we believe University Safety is on the right track—responding with a victim-centric and trauma-informed approach to all crimes on our campus, so survivors feel safe and heard when they report these crimes.”
To put the crime statistics in context, university leaders have compared the data to annual safety reports from peer institutions in the PAC-12 and three mid-size Salt Lake County cities (Draper, Herriman and Murray) with daytime populations similar to that of the university and its auxiliary campuses:
2020 PAC-12 Crime Statistics: Annual Security & Fire Safety Report
|Institution||Murder||Rape||Burglary||MV Theft||Domestic Violence||Dating Violence||Drug Arrests||Weapon Arrests|
|University of Utah||0||21||28||19||18||3||19||4|
|Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)||0||17||20||13||1||7||196||7|
|Oregon State University (Corvallis, Oregon)||0||8||24||6||4||2||20||2|
|Stanford University (Stanford, California)||0||15||42||24||8||0||16||6|
|University of Arizona (Tucson, Arizona)||0||18||29||29||17||1||96||1|
|University of California, Berkeley||0||25||69||100||37||7||80||11|
|University of California, Los Angeles||0||35||107||7||15||5||87||14|
|University of Colorado, Boulder||0||12||16||8||4||7||166||1|
|University of Oregon||0||5||52||15||1||4||9||1|
|University of Southern California (Los Angeles, California)||0||27||20||41||2||8||5||4|
|University of Washington||0||32||203||48||41||32||1||1|
|Washington State University||0||20||11||0||2||2||14||2|
2020 City Crime Statistics (Population: 49-56,000)
|City||Murder||Rape||Burglary||MV Theft||Domestic Violence||
If you need to report a crime, call University Police at 801-585-2677, or go to safeu.utah.edu for additional campus resources. Local and national support also is available from the Utah Domestic Violence Coalition hotline at 1-800-897-LINK (5465) and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
*The university provides single, group and family housing for undergraduate and graduate students. Housing and Residential Education (HRE) manages facilities in the Fort Douglas Officer’s Circle area, traditional on-campus residence halls and the Block 44 and downtown commons buildings in downtown Salt Lake City. University Student Apartments (USA) manages graduate and family student housing in the Medical Plaza area and USA’s East and West Villages on Sunnyside Ave. (The Block 44 lease expires in May 2022.)
**Not included in Crime in Utah report by city. Source: https://bci.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2021/10/Crime-in-Utah-2020.pdf