Annual security report shows general decrease in BYU crime

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Students walk on BYU’s campus earlier this fall semester. BYU Police released this year’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports, showing decreases in some crimes on Provo campus. (Dallin Wilks)

BYU Police released this year’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Reports. The Provo campus report shows a comparison of campus crimes and fires from 2018-2020. It also shares crime prevention trips, campus security policies and other local emergency resources.

Crimes recorded are those reported to BYU Police on campus and in residence halls. Separate releases are available for the Salt Lake Center, London Centre, Jerusalem Center and Barlow Center. 

Stalking incidents at BYU also decreased. Thirty were reported in 2018, 33 in 2019 and 14 in 2020. There were no stalking incidents reported at BYU-I or USU for 2020. (Made with Canva by Gabrielle Shiozawa)

This report was filed in response to the Clery Act, enacted in 1990 to help prospective students make more informed decisions about attending universities based on the schools’ crime rates. The act is named for Jeanne Clery, a 19-year-old Lehigh University student who was raped and murdered in her dorm room in 1986. All American colleges are required to submit crime data and annual security reports. They must also share timely warning notices and campus safety policies.

In the release, BYU Police’s managing director Chris Autry said he encourages all university students to read the safety report.

“Personal safety is a responsibility of everyone, and we need your assistance in helping to make our campus a safe environment,” Autry said.

In the year 2020, there were four incidents of rape reported either on campus or in residence halls. Comparatively, there were six incidents reported at BYU-Idaho and none at Utah State University.

BYU had 10 reports of fondling in 2020 compared to five at BYU-I and zero at Utah State.

No reports of domestic violence in on-campus housing were made in 2020; five were made each year in 2018 and 2019 at BYU.

There was one arrest involving a weapons law violation in 2020 following zero in each of the two previous years compared with zero at BYU-I and USU. 

Arrests for drug law violations decreased from 11 in 2019 to three in 2020. Comparatively there were nine drug law violations at BYU-I in 2020 and five at USU.

This graph shows the number of fires at BYU, BYU-Idaho and Utah State University from 2018-2020. (Made with Canva by Gabrielle Shiozawa)

Stalking incidents also decreased. Thirty were reported in 2018, 33 in 2019 and 14 in 2020. There were no stalking incidents reported at BYU-I or USU for 2020.

In response to the decrease in crimes on campus from 2018-2020, BYU Police Lt. Jeff Long says one word: COVID. With less people on campus last year, crimes automatically decreased, he said.

Eleven fires were reported in on-campus housing from 2018-2020: five in 2018, three in 2019 and three in 2020. This includes the Foreign Language Student Residence, Helaman Halls, Heritage Halls and Wyview Park. Ten of these incidents were accidental cooking fires. 

BYU-I had 15 fires comparatively: six in 2018, two in 2019 and seven in 2020. 

USU had eight fires: two in 2018, three in 2019 and three in 2020.

Fire evacuation procedures, campus maps, contact information for the university’s substance abuse prevention services and other resources are also available in the report.

“We hope you will find this report valuable,” Autry said in the release. “Thank you for taking the time to read this annual security report and for helping to make the BYU campus a safe and secure place to help prepare students for lifelong learning and service.”

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