Crime at Temple declined slightly last year, a report said

Reports of relationship violence on and off campus increased, according to the report.

Crime reports on Temple’s Main Campus decreased by 3.2 percent from 2017 to 2018, with the largest decrease being in alcohol, drugs and weapons-related crimes from 569 to 466, according to the university’s annual security and fire safety report.

The report, released on Sept. 26, tracks reports to the Temple Police of various crimes and fires occurring on or near Temple’s campus each year as required by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, a federal law that requires institutions of higher education to disclose such information.

Charlie Leone, director of campus safety services, attributes the decrease in crime reports since 2017 in part to his department’s new crime mapping system, which allows supervisors to view day-to-day and week-to-week trends in the area, he said.

In the summer of 2018, Leone also appointed Melanie Haworth, a TUPD detective, to analyze trends in crime with the new mapping software.

“We’ve done a lot of effort from 2017 to 2018 to be very mindful, being vigilant in how we patrol, to see if we see any type of activity like that to respond to quickly,” Leone said. “I think that’s been very helpful to us in terms of seeing reductions in that area.”

Though reports of all crimes are up just two percent since 2013, reports of relationship violence, which include domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, quadrupled during that time frame, according to the report. 

This is likely due to the increased availability of resources on-campus to report relationship violence, Leone said.

“My thoughts are that we opened up a lot of the avenues,” Leone added. “In the past few years around campus, there’s been promotion involved with the Wellness Resource Center, Student Activities, Temple Student Government, Title IX, just all pulling together to get the message out.”

“While it’s difficult to be certain, we do know that increased education, outreach and awareness efforts have encouraged reporting,” wrote Andrea Seiss, director of Temple’s Title IX office, in an email to The Temple News.

“The awareness efforts of Temple Student Government and other student groups, coupled with actions by the university to make reporting easier, should show students we want to hear from them and will take action on their reports in appropriate ways,” Seiss wrote.

Reports of Clery crimes, which include murder, rape and robbery, among others, decreased by 34, or 32.7 percent, in 2018, after a five-year high in 2017.

Leone attributes the 2017 spike in Clery crime reports to a string of burglaries committed by the same group of people, in addition to multiple incidents of forced public fondling. There were 29 burglaries reported in 2017, versus 13 in 2018, and 20 reports of fondling in 2017, compared to 17 in 2018.

A 29-percent decrease in disciplinary actions and referrals for alcohol-related crimes, which dropped from 462 in 2017 to 328 in 2018, comprised much of the decrease in alcohol, drugs and weapons-related crimes reported in that time frame.

“There’s always going to be an ebb and flow to the number of reports of alcohol misuse each year,” Leone said.

“It’s hard to pinpoint exactly,” he added. “I know part of it has to do with us and how much enforcement is being done.”

Driven by increases in reports of theft, disorderly conduct and drunkenness, non-Clery crimes, which also include harassment and vandalism, increased by 81, or 12.2 percent, from 2017-18. 

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