Web site reports low crime rate at BYU

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    By Sarah Stuart

    @by2:NewsNet Staff Writer

    Crime trends at BYU are simple.

    Crime incidences at the university are low, and the trend has decreased over the last 15 years, said Lieutenant Greg Barber of University Police.

    Crime and arrest statistics for the university are available to the public on BYU’s Web site that shows the campus security report. The university is required by law to share these statistics.

    A new Web site created by the Department of Education lists crime statistics for 6,000 colleges and universities across the country, including BYU. This is found at

    www.ope.ed/gov/security, Barber said.

    Barber said putting BYU’s information on the federal site has been a challenge.

    “There were large amounts of universities trying to add their statistics at the same time,” Barber said. “It’s been a learning process for everyone.”

    According to the Department of Education’s site, University of Utah statistics show 102 crimes committed last year – the highest of Utah universities. Also in 1999, Utah State University had 2.6 arrests per 1,000 students.

    On the same site, BYU listed 24 crimes in 1999, and had 0.2 arrests per 1,000 students.

    According to BYU’s crime and arrests Web site, there were three forcible sex offenses, and a total of eight arrests in 1999.

    “Our community is very safe in comparison with other universities across the country,” Barber said.

    Statistics like these have not always been publicly available, but one incident brought about major changes, said Howard Clery III, treasurer of Security on Campus, Inc., a non-profit organization.

    The Campus Security Act was passed in 1990, a law originally lobbied for by Connie and Howard Clery, whose daughter Jeanne was raped and murdered in her dorm room at Lehigh University in 1986, said Clery III, Jeanne’s brother.

    “A few years after Jeanne’s death we found out Lehigh administrators knew there were 44 violent crimes in the past two years, and the school didn’t tell anyone,” Clery said. “No one did anything about it.”

    The Clery family first lobbied for state laws that would require universities to publicly disclose three years of campus crime statistics and basic security policies. After a number of those laws passed, we lobbied for federal laws, Clery said.

    In 1998 the law was renamed the Jeanne Clery Act, and new changes were added to make the law more specific, closing up possible loopholes schools were finding, Clery said.

    “Schools seemed unwilling to collect and report crime statistics, and also to provide that information to their student body and faculty,” he said.

    Clery said the law benefits both students and administrators.

    “This provides students and faculty with crime statistics so they can make decisions about their own protection,” he said. “The schools can use statistics to identify problem areas and find possible solutions.”

    Clery also had one suggestion for university police forces.

    “Instead of treating the law negatively, they should enforce the laws, be pro-active and report the statistics,” Clery said. “They shouldn’t just stick their heads in the sand like ostriches, but instead be intelligent.”

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