The Stanford University Department of Public Safety (Stanford DPS) on Wednesday posted statistics about campus crimes reported in 2019, including burglaries, vehicle thefts, sexual offenses and domestic violence incidents, in compliance with federal law.
While the U.S. Department of Education gave colleges and universities an extension on publishing the statistics until Dec. 31, due to challenges presented by the pandemic, the Stanford DPS decided to publish the numbers by the traditional Oct. 1 deadline.
The Stanford DPS publishes the numbers annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics.
The crime statistics reflect incidents that were reported to have occurred on the main campus and other locations used by students that are immediately adjacent to the campus, including the two Stanford hospitals and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.
The statistics reflect incidents reported in the 2019 calendar year to university staff who are required to share such reports with the Stanford DPS or its Clery Compliance Office.
The 2019 crime statistics are available on the Stanford DPS website here.
Campus crimes reported in 2019
According to the Stanford DPS, the total number of sexual offenses reported to university officials last year was 63, compared with 52 in 2018 and 42 in 2017. The total number of sexual offenses for 2019 included 37 rapes and 26 fondling complaints.
In 2019, 67 reports of domestic violence were reported to the Clery Compliance Office, compared with 16 in 2018 and seven in 2017.
Vince Bergado, the university’s Clery Compliance Coordinator, said several cases involving long-term, abusive relationships accounted for more than 40 of the domestic violence incidents. Under the Clery Act, each incident of domestic violence is counted as a separate act. He said several of the 37 rapes involved the same alleged perpetrators committing multiple acts of violence against their victims, sometimes over a period of months. When an incident involves a form of sexual assault and domestic violence, the incident is counted in both categories.
Last year, the Stanford DPS received reports of 42 incidents of stalking, compared with 16 in 2018 and 12 in 2017. Bergado said it is difficult to attribute the increase to any single factor, but added that there appears to be a greater awareness of harassing behavior via social media and other means that is driving increased reporting.
Stanford encourages anyone who has been the victim of abuse to seek support. The university recently combined the three offices that address sexual assault and sexual harassment education and response to create one office: the Sexual Harassment/Assault Response & Education (SHARE) Office. (The three offices Stanford combined are: Title IX, Sexual Harassment Policy, and Sexual Assault and Relationship Abuse Education and Response.) Students can also seek support from Counseling and Psychological Services in Vaden Center. The Faculty Staff Help Center also offers support.
Last year, the Clery Compliance Office received reports of 14 aggravated assaults, compared with 13 in 2018 and one in 2017.
In 2019, 37 building burglaries were reported, compared with 46 in 2018 and 65 in 2017.
According to the report, the Stanford DPS received 14 reports of motor vehicle thefts, compared with 35 in 2018 and 32 in 2017. In each year, golf carts accounted for most of the stolen vehicles.
In 2019, the number of alcohol-related arrests was 38, compared with 41 in 2018 and 26 in 2017. Last year, there were 14 drug-related arrests on or near campus, compared with 12 in 2018 and 13 in 2017. Arrests for violations of weapons laws totaled 10 in 2019, compared with nine in 2018 and nine in 2017.
Acts of intolerance
Five hate crimes were reported on campus in 2019, including two cases of battery (classified as simple assault in the Clery Act) and three intimidations.
In one battery case, the victim was pushed from her bike by a suspect who used a racial epithet. In the second battery case, the victim was pulled off balance by their backpack, an act they believe was motivated by racial bias.
In one of the cases of intimidation, a threatening message was written to the victim, directing racial epithets at the victim in a campus residence. In another intimidation case, a victim believes he and his friends were targeted with a threatening gesture by a passerby, based on the victim’s race. The third case of intimidation, based on race, involved the discovery of cord that was a quarter-inch in diameter, in the shape of a noose, in a large bush located near student residences.
Bergado said many more acts of intolerance that did not meet the threshold of being criminal in nature were reported to the Stanford DPS and to Student Affairs.
Safety, Security & Fire Report
The Stanford DPS provides safety, security, law enforcement, crime prevention and emergency response services for the university’s main campus.
The department will publish its full annual report, the 2020 Safety, Security & Fire Report, by the end of the year. In addition to providing crime statistics, the report provides information about campus programs that promote personal safety and crime prevention.
Under the Clery Act, the Stanford DPS compiles statistics on specific crimes: sexual offenses; aggravated assaults; building burglaries and motor vehicle thefts; violations of liquor, drug and weapons laws; and hate crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other grounds.
The statistics reflect crimes that involve students, faculty and staff, as well as crimes that involve visitors and people who were on campus for a camp or conference.