The 2021 Annual Security Report (ASR) has been released, and details the crime and fire statistics from the second half of the 2020-2021 academic year and the first half of the 2021-2022 academic year, as well as compares trends from the three past calendar years. The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the “Clery Act”), requires colleges and universities to release crime and safety statistics each year. With all this data, keep in mind it is simply reported cases, and most likely does not present a truly representative account of all criminal acts that occur during academic years.
The 2021 statistics showed relative stability among rates of sexual violence. Reports of general sex offenses rose from 3 to 5, along with 3 reports of fondling, compared to 0 the previous year, and 2 reports of rape, down from 3.
Additionally, 2021 reported the first case of domestic violence found in recent ASRs; no specifics on the reported incident were included in the ASR. Reports of stalking rose from 2 to 3, and notably, the 2021 ASR showed 4 counts of aggravated assault, this also being the first cases reported in recent years. Interestingly, and perhaps promisingly, there were 0 reported counts of dating violence in the 2021 data set.
Not found in the graph, but also of importance, was a count of 5 “unique victims” of sexual violence in 2021. This number is the same as the number of reported sexual offenses — indicating that each sexual offense in the ASR was reported by a different victim. 2020 and 2019 reported just 3 unique victims and 3 sexual offenses, indicating more events of sexual violence being reported in the 2021 data set.
Reports of arson also rose this past year. The 2021 ASR describes the 3 counts of arson as follows: 1) “The flag was removed from the flagpole on campus, and was later found to have been burnt and left on the ground.” 2) “A cigarette was left burning on a bench in the Canyon.” 3) “A cigarette was used to burn a wooden table with built in chess board.” The ASR also defines acts of arson as “any instance of fires set intentionally in areas not intended to hold fires.”
As the graph clearly shows, however it is non-sexual crimes that not only often have the highest rates of occurrence, but also, in some cases, appear to be dramatically on the rise. Burglaries, after rising sharply in 2020, rose even higher in the 2021 report, with a total of 26 confirmed reported incidents. Motor vehicle theft has also risen sharply, after falling in 2020. A total of 11 motor vehicle thefts were reported in 2021. The ASR describes the nature of these thefts, providing that “two were attempted thefts where the vehicle’s ignition was tampered with, two electric carts were stolen, 5 cars and one motorcycle were taken from Reed College parking lots, and one vehicle theft report was taken by the Portland Police Bureau that we have no clarifying information about.” Interestingly, despite frequent incidents of catalytic converter theft found in the Quest’s weekly Community Safety Blotter, these thefts do not appear to be reported in the ASR.
Finally, by far the largest share of reported crimes go into the two categories of “Disciplinary Referrals for Liquor Law Violations” and “Disciplinary Referrals for Drug Law Violations.” Reports of both rose from 2020, but did not meet their 2019 heights, with 51 total reports of illegal alcohol use and 50 reports of illegal drug use in 2021.
Generally, the 2021 ASR did not show any alarming trends or notable outliers, and it must be kept in mind that the report only specifies crimes that are actually reported. It is not unreasonable to conclude that much of the report’s data is not entirely representative of actual events.