UCPD Crime Stats for 2018: Better Education Leads to More Reporting

Photo Courtesy of The Bottom Line Archive

Isabella Rothenberg

The 2018 Annual Security Report (ASR) released by the UC Police Department (UCPD) shows an increase in sex- and dating-related crimes when compared to the couple years before.

The report, as mandated by the Clery Act — a federal statute signed in 1990 — requires UCSB to disclose campus crime statistics and security information. The purpose of the report is to keep UCSB students and faculty safe and informed, providing them with details about topics such as rape, theft, and drug and alcohol related violations from the past three years.

While these statistics may initially seem concerning, according to the security report, the increased reports of sex and dating related crimes is simply due to “ongoing campus education about recognizing and reporting interpersonal violence.”  

Still, students may ask what this statement really means or wonder what UCSB has been doing to increase the rate of crimes being reported, as well as to decrease the amount of actual crimes being committed.

According to Sergeant Robert Romero of the UCPD, the most important thing that the school can do to increase reports of sexual violence is to educate students in recognizing and reporting these instances. In a statement to The Bottom Line, Romero said “The campus is committed to increase awareness, outreach and educate our community,” which has been largely due to the efforts of the Clery Coordinator, the Title IX Office, and UCSB Campus Advocacy Resources and Education Center (CARE).

In regards to more specific actions being taken, UCPD has been teaming up with CARE to increase survivors’ access to formal reporting systems, offer information about their rights, and have them feel generally more empowered and supported. The way to do this, according to Briana Conway, director of CARE services, is “to stay engaged and involved with CARE and others’ prevention education efforts through programs like Awareness Month, Green Dot Bystander Intervention programs, and so much more.”

By doing this, Conway explained that UCSB will not only continue to increase the instances of these crimes being reported, but also “will allow for us to create a campus culture where survivors are believed and violence will not be accepted.”

However, sex- and dating-related crimes are not the only topic discussed in the security report. Another important group of statistics are those regarding drug and liquor law violations.

The number of these violations appears to be on the decline, with liquor law violations referred for disciplinary action decreasing from 412 violations in 2015 to 370 violations in 2017. Additionally, drug law violations referred for disciplinary action decreased from 210 to 118 between 2015 and 2017.

This could cause some students to believe that UCSB is beginning to shed it’s party school reputation, especially after the school was ranked as the number five public school in the nation by US News. However, compared to other schools in the UC system, UCSB has a higher percentage of arrests and disciplinary actions.

When comparing the school’s crime statistics with UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Berkeley, UCSB has far more drug and liquor law violations than the other universities. The 2016 data shows the school having almost five times more liquor law violation arrests than UC Berkeley, and 120 times more disciplinary actions for drug abuse than UC Davis.

All of this information on the level of crime at UCSB may cause some concern to students. Still, the university has resources for students and faculty who are dealing with issues of interpersonal violence, as well as drug and alcohol addiction.

CARE and UCSB ADP are resources designed to support people dealing with these types of problems, both of which are easily accessible with the purpose of getting people help. The on-campus CARE office is located in the women’s center of the SRB, and the UCSB APD has an office in Isla Vista, as well as a website with information about their services.