DPS releases annual Clery Act report

By Anna Spoerre, @ASpoerre_DE

The SIU Department of Public Safety released the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report for 2014 on Thursday.

The report is published every year in compliance with the Clery Act, a consumer protection law passed in 1990, which requires all universities to disclose statistics and policies pertaining to crime on and near campus.

There was an increase of reported rape incidences on campus from three in 2013 to 13 in 2014, according to the report.

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SIUC police Lt. Ryan House said the statistical increase is because of a change in what is classified as a crime.

The government also recently broadened the definition of a reportable Clery offense to include dating violence, or violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim, according to the Department of Public Safety website. 

The report also shows a decrease in reported cases of domestic violence from 52 in 2013 to seven in 2014.

“I don’t have an explanation for [the change in reported numbers] other than education and awareness on campus,” House said.

The university and DPS offer multiple programs to promote safety on campus.

“Our goal is to end domestic violence, dating violence, sex offenses and all of our programs revolve around that,” House said. 

Saluki Step-Up is a mandatory program that educates university students and employees on assault and violence. The program explains how to help someone in need.

“I think people are more willing to report, and I think the step-up program the university has implemented has really increased the reporting of both domestic violence and sex offenses,” House said.

Though the content of these programs is the same as last year, House said campus police are interacting more with students.

House said liquor consumption is often a contributing factor to incidences such as sex offenses and domestic violence.

For this reason, House said campus police is emphasizing safe and legal alcohol consumption and possession.

“We’ve tried to enforce it more by issuing more citations rather than student rights and responsibilities referrals.”

Proof of this increased enforcement is evident in this year’s report; 2014 had a 79 percent increase in liquor and drug law violation arrests from 2013.

Liquor and drug law violation disciplinary referrals decreased by 33 percent.

The report also indicated an 54 percent increase in reported burglaries.

Though he does not have an explanation for the increase in reported burglaries, House said many thefts occur when car and dorm doors are left unlocked.

The full report can be accessed here.

Anna Spoerre can be reached at [email protected] or @ASpoerre_DE

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