University: Thefts fall, liquor violations increase

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By Austen Hufford, Daily Staff Reporter
and Adam Rubenfire, Daily News Editor
Published September 30, 2012

Alcohol violations rose and larcenies decreased last year on and near University property, according to the University’s annual security and fire safety report released Sunday, which chronicled the 2,316 total offenses reported in 2011.

The report, released by the University’s Department of Public Safety, details overall statistics for reported crimes in 2011. The University is required by the Clery Act — a federal law that regulates methodologies for reporting collegiate crimes — to report annual criminal statistics to students and employees.

The crimes recorded in the report include incidents that occurred on campus, on public property adjacent to campus such as city sidewalks or streets, in residence halls or at remote University properties, fraternities, sororities and co-op houses.

An overwhelming amount of the crimes were larcenies or drug and alcohol violations. There were 1,215 total alcohol law violations reported in 2011, up about 30 percent from 934 in 2010. Citations or arrests were made for Minor in Possession, Public Intoxication or other related crimes in 358 cases, a decrease of about 20 percent from the 2010 report.

Notably, there were 855 on-campus alcohol law violations referred for disciplinary action and counseling through the University’s Office of Student Conflict Resolution — all but one occurred in a University residence hall. Alcohol law violations referred for disciplinary action increased about 77 percent from 2010, when there were only 483.

Brown said it’s unclear what caused the increase in alcohol violations referred for disciplinary action.

“I don’t think there’s any explanation,” Brown said. “There was not a change in enforcement action, and there was not particularly a change in tracking.”

Not all individuals referred for disciplinary action for alcohol or drug law violations consumed substances. In most cases, students in a group that is confronted by Housing Security, Residence Hall Staff, or other officials for such activity are referred for disciplinary action, regardless of whether they consumed alcohol or drugs.

The number of drug law violations remained essentially unchanged with 126 drug arrests or citations and 202 drug violations referred for disciplinary action — both increases of less than 5 percent from 2010. However, in comparison with the 2009 report, there were about 97 percent more drug citations or arrests and about 162 percent more drug violations referred for disciplinary action reported in 2011.

Brown said most students who are cited or arrested for alcohol, drug or weapon law violations are also referred to OSCR for counseling and other disciplinary action. She added a hall director or housing security officer holds the discretion for how incidents in residence halls are handled.

Looking ahead to future reports, the new medical amnesty law may complicate how alcohol law violations are handled. The policy exempts intoxicated individuals or people aiding inebriated friends from receiving a Minor in Possession charge if they contact emergency personnel.

Brown pointed out that students who request amnesty are individuals who need counseling most.

“Protocol is making sure those students who end up going to the hospital and requesting amnesty still are referred for disciplinary action so that they can get some counseling and, or some help,” Brown said.

The report also documented that 617 larcenies — thefts or attempted thefts of unattended possessions — were reported in 2011, a decrease of about 26 percent from the 840 reported in 2010.

Forcible sexual assault cases also decreased from 2010, with 21 total reported to DPS, other police agencies and non-police in 2011.

In 2011, 44 cases of sexual assault were reported to SAPAC, while 50 were reported in 2010. However, some of the SAPAC cases may have also been reported to police or may have occurred before 2011 in areas other than Ann Arbor. SAPAC reported 11 cases of intimate partner violence, 12 cases of stalking and 7 incidents of sexual harassment.

SAPAC is not required to report individual cases to police, but it does report them in an anonymous, aggregated chart.

SAPAC director Holly Rider-Milkovich was not available for comment over the weekend.

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said the Department of Education requires the University to make the report available to current and prospective students, staff and faculty, but does not mandate that the publication be printed.

“It’s required to be available for distribution,” Brown said. “There’s not a prescribed method yet for whether it must be printed.”

The report is currently available online and will be available in print at the office of Department of Public Safety, the Central Student Government offices, residence halls and several administrative offices later in October.

Additionally, the Beyond the Diag neighborhood program will also distribute copies of the reports, and many printed editions will be distributed to new students and parents who attend new student orientation next summer.

Correction appended: An infographic previously attached this story misstated the number of liquor law arrests and citations that occurred on public property.