Tennessee Colleges Report Drop in Crime

April 9, 2014

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report says overall crime on college campuses has dropped by more than 11 percent.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press cited the data in reporting that the number of assaults and thefts were down while the number of forcible sex offenses and fraud were up.

The newspaper reported there were 50 forcible sex offenses reported on college campuses in the state in 2013. In 2012, there were 40 and in 2010, there were 28.

Theft reports, which make the majority of crimes reported, dropped almost 16 percent last year while reports of assaults decreased from about 800 in 2012 to 686 in 2013.

The decrease in crime totaled 11.6 percent.

“This report will hopefully assist law enforcement, institution administrators and government officials in planning their effort in the fight against crime,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said in a statement.

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga saw the number of thefts, drug violations and assaults drop, but the number of fraud cases increase.

“What we do at UTC is we have an active police force; we try to encourage faculty, staff and students to report crimes when they happen,” UTC spokesman Chuck Cantrell said.

“If we don’t know about a crime, we can’t deal with it. We don’t mind when they report crimes. If we don’t know about a crime, we can’t deal with it. … A campus that claims to have no crime is a campus that’s not accurately reporting its crime statistics,” he said.

According to the TBI data, the most assaults — 150 — were reported at the University of Memphis. Vanderbilt University had the most reports of forcible sex offenses with 16. UT-Knoxville had the most drug-related reports with 164.

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