Crime reported on KU campus hit 10-year low in 2018

photo by: Sara Shepherd

A University of Kansas police patrol vehicle is pictured in June 2016 on the KU campus.

Crimes reported on the University of Kansas campus hit a 10-year low in 2018, according to annual crime statistics that KU police released on Wednesday.

The 619 total crimes reported in 2018 represent an 8 percent decrease from the previous year, when 670 crimes were reported, according to the KU Office of Public Safety.

Despite the downturn, KU Police Chief Chris Keary urged the campus community to stay vigilant.

“Everyone must continue to do their part to make the community safe by reporting all crimes that occur and keeping an eye out for any suspicious activity,” he said, in a news release. 



As usual, theft was the most common crime on campus in 2018, with 150 reports. The second most common was drug crimes, with 113 reports, and property damage, with 91 reports.

All three of those categories were down from recent years, however.

One crime that went up significantly from 2017 was assault. There were four aggravated assaults, 15 simple assaults and 15 reports of intimidation in 2018, for a total of 34 reported assaults.

While up sharply from 14 total assaults reported in 2017, the 2018 total is consistent with the number of assaults reported in most other recent years.

Keary, in the news release, also addressed the ongoing serious issue of campus sexual assault.

“We know that the sexual assaults reported to us in 2018 were not the only ones that occurred,” he said. “Unfortunately, many are never reported. We will continue to work closely with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center, Institutional Opportunity and Access, and university administration to raise awareness of sexual assaults on campus and direct those affected to the assistance they need.”

Overall, nine sex offenses were reported to police in 2018, up from five in 2017.

Reports of rape went down from four to two; sodomy went up from zero to one; and fondling went up from one to six.

It’s likely one individual was responsible for most of the increase in fondling reports. In fall 2018, the Journal-World previously reported, the same male KU student was accused of groping at least four women in his dorm during the first few weeks of the school year. As of this week, he was no longer listed as a KU student.

Released each spring, the KU Office of Public Safety’s annual crime statistics list by category all criminal offenses reported to the department in the past 10 years.

The crime statistics report does not list incidents that are violations of university policy but are not crimes under the law. It also does not include crimes — including sexual assaults — that are reported to university administration or other law enforcement departments; KU’s annual Clery report, mandated by federal law and released each fall, combines all of the above and includes campus proper as well as off-campus locations related to the university such as fraternities and sororities.

Off-campus crackdown

KU police primarily investigate only crimes that occur on KU campus proper.

However, because of a special enforcement effort, the 2018 KU crime statistics include reports of 153 off-campus crimes in addition to the 619 on-campus crimes, according to the news release.

Last fall, the KU Office of Public Safety participated in a multi-agency task force targeting underage drinking and the use of fake IDs at Lawrence bars, restaurants and liquor stores. The Kansas Department of Revenue’s Alcoholic Beverage Control unit also was involved.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd


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