Annual Clery Crime Report shows decrease in almost every category

By Matthew Hunt

October 16, 2012

The release of the 2011 annual Clery Crime Report revealed a decrease of reported incidents of campus crimes prior to 2012.

The report showed a decrease in almost all the categories. University Police Chief Jon Kelley said the only category that stayed the same as in 2010 was forcible sex offense in which two crimes were reported for 2011.

“I would have to say that is a positive report,” Kelley said.

Dr. Judy Grimes, interim vice president of Student Affairs, said the numbers speak for themselves. She said compared to other universities throughout the state, Missouri Western has always been regarded as a very safe campus.

“You need to look at what we are doing to address the issues,” Grimes said. “We have all new hall directors. They have hired awesome resident assistants and they seem extraordinarily well-prepared.”

The numbers are better than previous years, but in Grimes opinion, no crimes is what we strive for. She wasn’t surprised to see the two forcible sex offenses from last year and is never happy when she sees any incident.

“I’m never satisfied,” Grimes said. “I think we continue to look at ways to prevent things from happening.”

The expected categories, which appear to be reported, are within the residence halls. Burglary went down in the halls from 15 in 2010 to seven in 2011. Mark Stier, director of Residential Life, believes the numbers are an improvement from the last report. He said his staff is now more approachable to help students with a reported crime.

“I think in the past students didn’t always feel comfortable coming to Res Life or campus police. They felt it wasn’t going to help them,” Stier said. “I think that has completely changed in the last year.”

Kelley said larceny and theft are the two crimes most reported on campus, and he thinks that any time there is a reported sex offense or burglary, it is a concern.

“I think theft is most often a crime of opportunity,” Kelley said. “Most often than not we find that the property that was stolen was unattended and unsecured.”

He said the 2011 calendar showed 68 theft reports that were not required for the Clery Report, and to date for the 2012 calendar, there has been 42 theft reports so far. Drug law violations have also lowered from 19 in 2010 to 16 in 2011, and liquor law violations lowered from 28 in 2010 to nine in 2011.

Since the 2011 report has been released, Kelley believes the report is good news as the numbers are lowering; however, he would like the numbers to decrease even more.

“I would like to see no crimes, but I do not think that is very realistic.”