Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Theft, criminal damage to property jumped at KU in 2016; overall campus crime up slightly

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016

KU Office of Public Safety patrol vehicle, pictured June 2016

March 16, 2017

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Theft and criminal damage to property jumped sharply last year on the University of Kansas campus. Police say a rise in bicycle thefts — most of which involved a cable or chain being cut — contributed to that increase.

Overall, crimes reported to KU police increased 2 percent from 2015 to 2016, according to campus crime statistics released this week by the KU Office of Public Safety. The office reported handling 770 criminal offenses during 2016, up slightly from 757 in 2015. According to statistics, all but a handful of offenses occurred on campus proper.

Theft on campus went up to 213 reports in 2016, from 175 reports in 2015, according to the statistics. Criminal damage cases on campus went up to 128 reports in 2016, from 90 reports in 2015.

Related document

KU crime statistics: 2007-2016 ( .PDF )

Drug-related offenses — which hit a 10-year-high in 2015, with 186 reports — went down to 143 reports in 2016, according to the statistics.

KU continues to expand its use of closed-circuit security cameras across campus and has also added more police and security officers on campus, according to the Office of Public Safety.

“The university continues to increase its use of technology, but employing more people to provide a security presence or actively patrol campus is also very helpful,” KU police Chief Chris Keary said, in an announcement from KU.

To help avoid becoming a victim of bike theft, in particular, KU police suggest bicycle riders invest in quality U-locks and secure all bikes properly.

Sex offense reports went up to five in 2016, from 4 in 2015, according to the statistics. Of the sex offenses reported in 2016, two were categorized as fondling and three were categorized as rape. All sex offenses reported to KU police occurred on campus proper, according to the statistics.

As for violent crimes other than rape, there were no murders, one robbery and one aggravated assault reported on campus in 2016, according to the statistics. In 2015, there were no murders, one robbery and three aggravated assaults reported.

In total, there were 30 assaults reported on campus in 2016 — 23 categorized as simple assault and six categorized as intimidation, plus the one aggravated assault.

The crime statistics released this week include only crimes reported to KU police. The broader and more comprehensive Clery report, required by federal law and released each fall, includes offenses reported on or near the campus to KU police, other law enforcement and university officials.

Contact KU and higher ed reporter Sara Shepherd
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