Berkeley - Crime on the University of California, Berkeley, campus declined by more than 14 percent last year, including a drop in both violent crimes and property crimes.
Overall, crime reports dropped from 1,125 incidents in 1999 to 961 in 2000, according to the UC Police Department, which released its annual report today (Thursday, April 12).
Reports of property crimes dropped from 1,102 in 1999 to 939 last year, while violent crime reports were down to 22 incidents in 2000, one less than the year before. This follows an 11-year trend of declining violent crime reports.
"We are extremely pleased that the pattern of reported crimes continues to decline," said Capt. Pat Carroll of the UC Police Department. "We believe this is the result of a continued effort, led by the chancellor, to improve safety on the campus."
Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl has stated that student safety is among his highest priorities. The police department has taken numerous steps to improve safety, including expanding the hours and areas served by the Night Safety Shuttle. The free service runs from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., picking up students from campus facilities such as libraries and dropping them off at their nearby homes.
Police crime-prevention awareness programs and presentations have also heightened awareness throughout the campus community, said Carroll. But he also noted that the drop in crime reports follows a similar nationwide trend over the past several years.
The UC Berkeley crime figures, part of an annual report compiled for the FBI, are based on incidents that occurred both on the central campus and other UC Berkeley property during the calendar year of 2000.
Despite the overall decline in crime reports, there were some increases in particular categories of crime. Reports of rape increased from one in 1999 to four last year; three of the rapes involved acquaintances and one involved a stranger in an off-campus location, People's Park. Arson reports increased from three to nine, with many of the cases involving minor incidents such as the burning of papers posted on bulletin boards.
The annual report also shows that reported robberies dropped from 15 in 1999 to 10 in 2000. There have been no homicides reported since 1992.
Reported burglaries dropped from 68 in 1999 to 36 last year, a decline that police attribute, in part, to their increased efforts to provide crime prevention tips to campus employees and others.
Bicycle theft reports dropped from 300 in 1999 to 260 in 2000. Motor vehicle thefts increased slightly from 19 in 1999 to 23 in 2000.
The number of alcohol-related cases dropped from 185 in 1999 to 147 last year. The number of narcotics-related cases dropped from 281 in 1999 to 244 last year.
In all, police arrested 14 people last year in connection with the 22 violent crimes reported. None of the suspects were affiliated with UC Berkeley.
UC Berkeley police, staffed by 75 sworn police officers, serve an average daily population of more than 50,000 people. Officers patrol not only the campus proper, but off-campus properties including the residence halls, the campus's graduate student housing in Albany, and the Richmond Field Station satellite research center.
The police provide service to the campus community 24-hours a day, patrolling on foot, bike, and in vehicles; and assisting the campus community through various crime prevention programs and efforts.
Last year, the police communications center handled more than 21,000 911 calls. Police cleared 64 percent of violent crime cases; 4 percent of property crimes.
In addition to the annual report filed with the FBI, the police department also publishes a brochure of crime statistics in compliance with the federal Clery Act. This brochure is distributed to every UC Berkeley faculty member, staff member, student and prospective student at the start of each school year. It includes not only the offenses that occurred on UC Berkeley property, but also offenses in areas of the city immediately adjacent to the campus.