Analysis: The Clery Report

Surprise, surprise, the most common crime committed on Hilltop campus in the year 2016 was violation of liquor laws. The next most common crime was violation of drug laws. How can you find these numbers and other crime statistics about USF? The newly released “Clery Report.”


The Annual Security and Fire Safety Report, or Clery Report, is a comprehensive assessment mandated by the Department of Education under the Clery Act. The Act originated from the advocacy of the Clery Center, and its creators, Connie and Howard Clery.


They created the center in 1987 after the Clerys’ daughter, Jeanne, was raped and murdered in her dorm room of Lehigh University at the age of 19. Any college or university that receives federal funding is now required to produce the report annually by Oct. 1 that includes the previous three years’ crime statistics. “By creating a more transparent culture, [schools] foster the trust of prospective families and ensure an environment that encourages students’ academic and emotional security,” the Clery Center says in their mission statement on the center’s website.


“The Clery Act was enacted to increase the accountability and transparency of institutions of higher education in meeting certain responsibilities with regard to the safety and security of students on their campuses,” said USF’s Office Assistant for Public Safety Staci Hoell, who contributed to the report. “I always think that when you are in the know and you are aware of what’s going on around you, then you are more prepared and you can act quicker and you can take measure to protect yourself,” Hoell said.


For USF’s Hilltop campus, the most common incidents last year were disciplinary referrals for liquor law violations with 274 last year, and 49 drug law violations. These were disciplinary referrals, not arrests. Behind these, instances of stalking and motor vehicle theft fell between 10 and 20. Instances of forced fondling, burglary and robbery each were four. The next least-frequent crimes were dating violence, with two incidences, two arrests for drug law violations and one arrest for possession of a weapon last year.


USF’s heavy crimes were fickle in comparison to other Jesuit institutions in similar locations. For example, USF experienced the same amount of robberies, and more motor vehicle theft per 1,000 students than Fordham University (New York), Seattle University, Boston College and Loyola University Chicago (LUC) combined. However, USF’s number of rapes and burgalaries per 1,000 students were less than all of those schools, with the exception of LUC. It is important to note that with 70.24 crimes per 1,000 residents annually, the city of San Francisco has a higher crime rate than Seattle, Boston, Chicago or New York City (as reported by NeighborhoodScout, a website which calculates national security statistics).


The Clery Report, beyond crime statistics, covers over a dozen components of campus safety. These include processes, such as the report of a missing student, emergency response, evacuation, sex offender registry and response to sexual misconduct. The report also publishes crime and fire statistics. Public Safety is required to report anything that happens on campus, on the streets next to campus, and on sidewalks across the street from campus. This applies to all satellite campuses, including Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Presidio, Pleasanton, Orange County, downtown and Hilltop campuses.


Public Safety must also identify resources for various categories, such as Title IX reporting. These policies and procedures for post-incident make up the majority of the report. Also included are the phone numbers, addresses and titles for emergency response programs for all campuses.


Crime prevention resources are also a focus in the report. With every category, there is a list of established and sometimes required efforts by the school to prevent a specific criminal activity from taking place. These efforts take the form of tables describing programs and their audiences, frequencies and focuses, as well as tips and tricks such as “How to be an Active Bystander.”


“We encourage you to read this information and consider how it can assist you and our community collectively to prevent and respond to crime, and to prepare and respond to emergencies,” writes Chief of the Department of Public Safety Daniel L. Lawson in the report.


Click here to read the USF’s 2017 Clery Report.

Featured Photo: Crime statistics are from 2016. Sources are from University of San Francisco, Seattle University, Fordham University 2017 Clery Reports. GRESCHLER/FOGHORN


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