KU crime report: Drug offenses jump 65 percent; overall crime up 26 percent

Drug offenses went up 65 percent last year at Kansas University, according to annual crime statistics the university released Wednesday.

There were 177 drug offenses reported on campus in 2014, compared with 107 in 2013, according to the numbers.

KU police don’t think there are drastically more drugs on campus, but rather that stepping up drug education and enforcement efforts in residence halls is paying off.

The KU Office of Public Safety now trains student housing employees to recognize illegal activity and identify drugs, said Capt. James Anguiano. He said obtaining search warrants also has contributed to the increase, as has patrolling parking lots.

The majority of the reported drug offenses involve marijuana in residence halls, Anguiano said.

It’s often easy to spot.

“The policy is you can’t smoke anything in the residence halls,” he said. “So when RAs, the complex director or even other residents smell an odor coming from a room, that leads to an investigation.”

Anguiano said most cases involve smaller quantities of marijuana or paraphernalia, but there also are cases involving larger quantities suspected of being sold to others.

In addition to typical marijuana, police also have noticed more alternative forms of the drug such as edibles, waxes and oils, Anguiano said. They also find illegal prescription drugs, often during a search.

“The drug world’s always an evolving world,” Anguiano said.

Overall, 832 crimes were reported on the KU campus in 2014, according to the numbers released Wednesday.

That’s an increase of 26 percent from 2013, when 661 crimes were reported. In 2012, 714 crimes were reported on campus.

Violent crime — defined by the FBI as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — remained around 1 percent of all criminal offenses reported, according to KU.

No homicides have been reported on campus. In 2014, there were three rapes, two robberies and four aggravated assaults reported to KU police.

In other sex offenses, there were three cases of fondling and one case of sodomy reported to KU police in 2014.

The crime statistics released Wednesday include only offenses reported to KU police. Cases of victims who reported sexual violence exclusively to the KU Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access are not included.

Anguiano said the KU Office of Public Safety encourages victims of any crime to file police reports.

The KU Office of Public Safety is a mandatory reporter, he said, meaning that it does share reports of sexual assault with the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access. However, that office does not share reports with police unless a victim desires, he said.