Liquor-law arrests almost double: safety report

Oct. 7, 2010, 3:04 a.m.

The Department of Public Safety (DPS) arrested almost twice as many people on campus for alleged liquor-law violations in 2009 as it did the previous year, according to the release this fall of the annual Stanford safety report.

Last year 113 people were arrested on campus on suspicion of violating possession, purchase, transportation and other alcohol laws, compared to 62 in 2008. Those statistics do not include the number of arrests for driving under the influence or public drunkenness, which is not provided in the report.

Of those arrests, 14 were made in student residences, compared to six the year before. And last year, 61 people faced other types of disciplinary actions by campus officials after alleged liquor-law violations, compared to 23 the year before.

Reports of rape, hate-related battery and bike thefts also were up in 2009 over the previous year, according to the report.

The release of the report, sometimes referred to as the “Clery report,” is mandated by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act. It details crime that occurred on campus–defined as academic and research buildings, residences, the Medical Center and the Dish, on Stanford-owned or Stanford-affiliated property and on public property, such as sidewalks, contiguous to Stanford property.

Drug Arrests

Most of the drug-related arrests last year involved marijuana, Police Chief Laura Wilson told the Stanford Report.

These numbers reflect an increase in police department staff rather than an increase in drug and alcohol use, she added. Now that the police department is fully staffed, more officers have been assigned to weekend shifts.

“We changed the staffing to increase the number of people working on weekends because so many student parties were being disrupted by people who had not been invited to the party and who were stealing from students,” Wilson told the Report.

New Domestic Violence, Stalking Categories

In response to requests from the Stanford community, the report included two new categories: domestic violence and stalking. Seven incidences of alleged domestic violence, including six on campus, and two incidences of alleged stalking, both on campus, occurred in 2009, the report said.

Twelve alleged “forcible sexual offenses” were reported, including seven in student residences. That compared to 10 such offenses in 2008 and 12 in 2007. The report defines the category “any sexual act directed against another person, forcibly or against that person’s will,” including rape, sodomy, sexual assault with an object and forcible fondling.

Of these cases, five were listed as rapes, three in student residences, compared to three forcible rapes in 2008 and eight in 2007.

Domestic violence and sexual assault tend to be underreported, Wilson told the Stanford Report. “We have reason to believe more sexual offenses are taking place on campus than are being reported to university sources, based on the stories that students tell us,” she said.

Two hate crimes were reported in 2009: one case of “hate-related battery on campus” involving sexual orientation, the other of hateful vandalism involving religion. One hate crime was reported in each of the two previous years.

Property Crimes Down

The number of reported bike thefts increased to 375 last year from 353 in 2008 and 297 in 2007. About half of those reports were near student residences.

Car burglaries declined to 57 cases in 2009 from 122 the previous year. GPS units, laptops, purses, wallets and backpacks reportedly were stolen most often. Structural burglaries, such as those that occur in residential buildings or academic and research buildings, were down to 151 cases last year from 186 cases in 2008. Motor vehicle and golf cart thefts also decreased to 15 in 2009 from 38 in 2008

As these statistics are based on reported crime, they do not necessarily reflect the number of crimes committed, said DPS spokesman Bill Larson.

“It would be difficult, if not impossible in some cases, to explain why there were increases or decreases in any of the crimes noted in the Report,” wrote Larson in an e-mail to The Daily.

The complete report is available on the DPS website.

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