The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Police Department released its Annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report on Friday, Sept. 28 via email to inform the UNL community about the 2017 calendar year’s crimes and fires.
According to UNLPD’s police operations Captain John Backer,the amount of crimes reported has remained relatively stable while some types of crimes have decreased from 2016 to 2017. The report noted skewed data led to a more than 800 percent increase in the amount of on-campus rapes reported and of fondling incidents.
The 2016 document reported 12 cases of on-campus rape, compared to the 116 cases reported in 2017. The spike comes from a report from a single person who disclosed alleged rapes stemming from an abusive relationship. The incidents were reported during 2017 and were included in the report for that year, although they may not have all occurred during 2017.
The report said there would be 12 reported on-campus rapes and six reported incidents of dating violence if it did not include the data from the single report.
The data for fondling is also skewed because, in 2017, one student reported previous incidents of her supervisor inappropriately touching her while she was an employee at the university. There were 107 cases of fondling reported during 2017, but there would have been five reported incidents of fondling if the data from the single report was excluded.
The most common crimes were drug and alcohol law violations. There were 144 on-campus drug violations and 220 on-campus alcohol violations.
Backer said the amount of burglaries on campus has decreased. The report shows eight incidents of reported on-campus burglary in 2017; a decrease from the 12 incidents of burglary that occurred in 2016 and 24 in 2015.
Additionally, the 2017 report showed three instances of hate crimes on campus. There was one intimidation based on race, one based on religion and another based on national origin. The one crime of intimidation based on race occurred in on-campus housing.
The report included available resources for UNL community members to utilize. Although the government requires UNLPD to release these reports, Backer said UNLPD tries to be as transparent as possible about the reports they receive.
“It’s not just because we’re required,” he said. “We also want our campus to be informed and safe.”