Tennessee Bureau of Investigation: Campus crimes fall; violence on the rise

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation: Campus crimes fall; violence on the rise

April 4th, 2013 by Joan Garrett McClane in Local Regional News

CAMPUS CRIME BY THE NUMBERS

* 7,326: 2012 offenses reported statewide

* 7,639: 2011 offenses reported statewide

* 7,173: 2010 offenses reported statewide

* 35.8 percent: Theft as a share of all crime

* 13.7 percent: Increase in assault offenses from 2011 to 2012

* 19.6 percent: Decrease in forcible sex offenses from 2011 to 2012

Source: TBI

UTC CRIME

Sexual offenses: 2

Assaults: 24, 13 cleared

Burglaries: 27, 2 cleared

Theft: 149, 8 cleared

Fraud: 3, 3 cleared

Vandalism: 42, 6 cleared

Drug violations: 63, 58 cleared

DUI: 5

Drunkenness: 20

Liquor law violations: 47

Source: TBI

HOW MANY PROTECTORS?

Campus population: 11,298

Security personnel: 70

Source: TBI

Overall crime was down by 4 percent on college campuses last year, but the number of violent crimes jumped dramatically, according to data published by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Assaults increased by 13 percent, and aggravated assaults increased from 46 incidents statewide in 2011 to 75 in 2012, said Kristin Helm, a spokeswoman for the TBI.

"We don't know why it's happening," said Helm.

Still, campuses in and around the Chattanooga region look relatively safe on paper. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga was the only school to report sexual offenses. Just two were recorded, according to TBI.

Twenty-four assaults, out of more than 10,000 students, were reported, compared to 28 the year before.

Spokesman Chuck Cantrell noted that crime numbers at UTC remained fairly stagnant while overall enrollment rose 18.8 percent since 2008.

"I am glad that our numbers are staying fairly consistent," he said. "Our campus police are doing a good job. ... We take safety very seriously. When parents look at where to enroll their students they want them to be in a safe environment."

Schools such as Bryan College, Lee University, Cleveland State Community College and Chattanooga State Community College reported almost no crimes.

The major problems on local college campuses are with theft, drugs and alcohol.

Statistics from Sewanee: The University of the South stood out for alcohol violations. Nearly 150 liquor law violations occurred on the campus, which has a population of 2,230. The number was an increase from around 100 the year before. Four arrests for driving under the influence, seven for drunkenness and 75 drug violations also were recorded.

Calls to Sewanee were not returned Wednesday.

Contact staff writer Joan Garrett at jgarrett@times freepress.com or 423-757-6601. Follow her on Twitter at @JoanGarrettCTFP.