Annual Stanford safety report documents continued increase in reported crimes

Nov. 1, 2023, 12:44 a.m.

The Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS) published its annual Safety, Security and Fire Report on Sept. 29. According to the report, crime reports are reverting to pre-pandemic levels. While certain reports of burglary fell, reports of motor vehicle theft increased significantly.

Public Safety Director Laura Wilson wrote in the report that it “provides a helpful snapshot of what safety issues face our community” and “safety policies and campus resources.”

University spokesperson Dee Mostofi echoed Wilson in a statement to The Daily. Stanford benefits from a “dedicated” SUDPS, which “provides safety, security, law enforcement, crime prevention and emergency response services,” Mostofi wrote. 

Mostofi wrote that the University strengthened its security measures in the past year, including “expansion of mental health crisis management, exterior lighting enhancements, access control [and] camera technology.”

“We encourage all community members to be aware of crimes that are reported and be vigilant to safeguard themselves,” Mostofi wrote.

Overall trends

More than 2,000 reports were filed in 2022 — an increase of around 500 from the previous year — representing a return to “pre-pandemic numbers,” according to Stanford News. Domestic violence, stalking, rapes and motor vehicle theft all increased on campus, according to last year’s report.

Sex offenses, domestic violence and stalking

Thirty-three rapes, 25 fondlings and one statutory rape were reported last year, up from reports of 30 rapes, 14 fondlings and zero statutory rapes in 2021. In 2020, there were 15 reported rapes, 17 fondlings and no statutory rape reports. Domestic violence and stalking have both increased in the last two years, with 16 cases of domestic violence and 41 cases of stalking reported in 2022. In 2021, there were 30 stalking cases reported, and 26 stalking cases were reported in 2020. 

Burglaries and motor vehicle theft

Burglary complaints decreased in 2022. These reports include burglaries that occurred in student residences, non-residence buildings on campus and off campus. According to the report, 25 burglaries were recorded in 2022, compared to 31 in 2021 and 42 in 2020. 

However, there was a significant rise in motor vehicle thefts, primarily as a result of the Department of Education officially classifying e-bikes and e-scooters as motor vehicles, according to the report. There were 150 motor vehicle thefts last year, 21 thefts in 2021 and 24 in 2020. According to Clery compliance coordinator Lucia Wade, most of these thefts occurred at dining areas and bike racks. 

Campus arrests

On campus last year, 14 drug-related arrests, one liquor law arrest and seven weapon law arrests occurred, totaling to 22 arrests. These levels are comparable to previous years, with 14 drug-related arrests made in 2021 and 16 in 2020, one liquor law arrest in 2021 and five in 2020 and one weapon law arrest in 2021 and six in 2020. 

Aggravated assaults 

The number of aggravated assaults slightly increased in 2022, with 20 reports compared to 16 in 2021 and 22 in 2020. 

Hate crimes

The number of reported hate crimes increased from two in 2021 to seven in 2022, but still remains lower than 2020 in which 10 were reported. Battery, attempted battery, intimidation, robbery and vandalism were among the hate crimes registered in 2022. 

“Each report of a hate crime can damage the community’s sense of safety,” Wilson wrote. “DPS encourages those impacted by hate crime to seek support through the University’s many resources.”

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