Cornell University Police car on Ho Plaza on September 21st, 2018.

Boris Tsang / Sun Photography Editor

Cornell University Police car on Ho Plaza on September 21st, 2018.

September 10, 2019

Annual Crime Report Reveals Increase in Burglaries, Sexual Crimes in 2018

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In 2018, reports of on-campus domestic violence, burglaries and liquor law violations more than doubled from last year, according to the Cornell University Police Department’s 2019 Annual Security Report.

CUPD released the annual report in late August in compliance with the Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities participating in federal financial aid programs to disclose campus crime statistics.

The statistics are collected through reports made directly to CUPD, other law enforcement agencies and campus security authorities, which include officials with “significant responsibility for student or campus activities,’” such as residential hall directors.

“Overall, it’s increased reporting from everyone on campus,” Cornell University Police Chief David Honan told The Sun. Honan attributed some of the uptick in reporting numbers to increased data from campus security authorities, who are obligated to inform CUPD when violations or crimes occur.

From 2017 to 2018, burglary incidents spiked from 13 incidents to 30 — a rise prompted by increased burglaries on West Campus, Honan said. This summer, a string of burglaries occurred in Keeton House and Bethe House on West Campus, prompting an additional crime alert.

Reports of sexual crimes also increased, with reports of fondling, domestic violence and stalking each more than doubling from one year to the next. Domestic violence reports showed the most significant jump, from 11 reports in 2017 to 29 the following year.

“Sexual assaults and sexual violence are always underreported,” Honan told The Sun. “We know that there are victims that are not always getting services that they need … Most importantly so people get services but also so that we can catch offenders.”

An additional 36 reports of on-campus sexual assault were made in 2018 that didn’t fit into the Clery Act-defined categories of rape, statutory rape, fondling or incest, and therefore were not included in the total statistics, the report said.

Overall, liquor law violations increased, but liquor-related arrests made decreased from 13 to 2. Disciplinary referrals, however, surged to 459 from 205 the previous year. Honan attributed this to both more calls related to liquor law violations and more reporting from campus security authorities.

“We also found out that there were some areas on campus that we weren’t getting statistics from,” Honan told The Sun. “We wanted to reemphasize with those groups the need to report all of these numbers. We do this on a daily basis but not everybody on campus does.”

These numbers also include incidents where the Good Samaritan protocol applies, which protects students from judicial consequences if they call for a drug or alcohol related emergency.

Unlike liquor law violations, drug law violations decreased from 2017, down to 67 from 81 the previous year.

“We had fewer calls [about drug use],” Honan said “It’s gonna take a while to determine if that’s reduced usage or reduced calling.”