North Texas Daily

Annual Security Report shows increase in stalking, dating violence crimes

Annual Security Report shows increase in stalking, dating violence crimes

Annual Security Report shows increase in stalking, dating violence crimes
October 12
11:45 2018

UNT’s Annual Security and Fire Safety report cites six

stalking crimes, up from one in 2016, and 12 dating violence crimes, up from nine in 2016.

The report, released on Sept. 27, also showed the number of reported rapes decreased by two, down to 11 from 13 in 2016. Drug and liquor violations went down to 196 and 126 from 201 and 138, respectively.

The report is put together by the UNT Clery Compliance Team, which includes the UNT Police, the Dean of Students Office and the Office of Risk Management.

UNT Chief of Police Ed Reynolds said new guidance from the Department of Education changed things that might have been considered harassment to instead fall under the category of stalking, which he said is some reason for the increase.

“I do think that overall, the amount of outreach our office does and the dean of students [office] does has increased our numbers,” Reynolds said. “Now I do not believe that it’s an increase in crime, I believe it’s an increase in reporting.”

Reynolds said the biggest portion of the crime numbers come from reports made to the UNT Police, but can include numbers from outside law enforcement agencies.

Infographic Lizzy Spangler

Dean of Students Maureen McGuinness said her office continues to train staff on reporting crimes like stalking and dating violence.

“We continue to tell students who one can go to for help,” McGuiness said in an email. “We know the education and prevention efforts we use create a community where people know how to report and feel comfortable reaching out if they’re a victim.”

Regarding the decreases in drug and liquor violations, Reynolds was reluctant to call it a trend, saying he hopes both the enforcement and educational aspect is helping to decrease those numbers. He also said a lot of those numbers come from tailgating for football games.

“We have seen, even this year, kind of a decrease in the number of citations that we’ve written for minor in possession,” Reynolds said. “[The] season’s not over yet, so we could have homecoming and that would blow it all out of the water, I don’t know.”

In regards to other crimes, there were 12 burglaries in 2017, up one from 11 in 2016 and four motor vehicle thefts, up from two in 2016. However, domestic violence crimes fell to one, down from four in 2016.

Non-arrest campus referrals also fell for alcohol and drug violations, down to 47 and five in 2017 from 60 and 12 in 2016, respectively.

“Two years ago our university processes changed,” McGuinness said. “You see a major decrease in our referrals but an increase in arrests. We believe this is due to changes in policy in housing where housing staff no longer does administrative searches and they call the police instead.”

Reynolds said the yearly report, while important, does not significantly affect how the UNT Police operates because they receive monthly reports.

“Every month, we watch crime and we say, ‘Hey, we’re having more thefts over here so let’s apply more resources over here,’” Reynolds said. “That’s not something we do at the end of every year — we do it constantly.”

English senior Xavier Hanis said the campus seems relatively safe and that he sees the UNT Police walk around campus often.

“I do think they do a good job of that, just [patrolling], make sure there’s no trouble going on,” Hanis said. 

Reynolds said students reading the report should take away the fact that the numbers are relatively low and that UNT is, overall, a safe campus.

Featured Image: Infographic Lizzy Spangler 

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Lizzy Spangler

Lizzy Spangler

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