There has been an increase in the number of drug and alcohol arrests, among other incidents, on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus in the last three years, according to ASU’s annual security report.
Alcohol arrests went from three in 2017 to 11 in 2019, according to the reporter. Drug arrests experienced a similar increase, from seven in 2017 to 44 in 2019. Burglary has also increased.
Arizona State University released its annual report on campus and fire security. The report is published in accordance with the Clery Act, a federal law requiring colleges to disclose statistics of crimes on or near their campuses.
The numbers track various crime statistics, including alcohol and drug referrals, thefts, and incidents of sexual assault. It also offers advice on staying safe and reporting unlawful activity.
“Unfortunately, we cannot attribute the spike in certain crimes to any specific reason,” ASU police spokesperson Adam Wolfe said. “We can only hypothesize the key influential factors.”
Tyler Budge, a sophomore journalism major, said he has not noticed a trend of theft on ASU’s Downtown Phoenix campus.
“Generally, I haven’t really noticed an uptick of theft per se. I’ve only heard of one story where a friend of mine had her wallet go missing,” Budge said.
He said they filed a report with ASU Police last month, but has not heard anything yet about the status of the missing wallet.
Budge said he thinks ASUPD could do a better job when it comes to updating students on the status of stolen items.
“It has seemed to me that a lot of things fall between the cracks,” Budge said.
The numbers regarding domestic violence statistics have gone up. There were four reported cases of domestic violence in 2019, up from zero the year before.
Wolfe said the increase could be the result of students becoming more willing to report incidents, rather than a rise in crime frequency.
“It is reasonable to hypothesize that an increase in reported incidents is due to the willingness of campus community members to report crimes,” Wolfe said. “ASU PD recognizes crime cannot be eliminated entirely, but we can work together to reduce the opportunities for crimes to occur.”
Christina Mohr, a sophomore studying criminal justice, said she thinks that as the college becomes more open to issues of sexual misconduct, more people have come forward about their own experiences with it. She said this could be why the number of reports increased so much in 2019.
“With everything going on in the media and social movements it’s encouraging people who have experienced domestic violence or sexual misconduct to come forward,” Mohr said.
Assistant Director of Clery Compliance Cassie Fiero said that the Clery numbers can help increase awareness for students and effectiveness in education about issues of sexual misconduct and other crimes for the university.
“The Clery statistics include three years’ worth of statistical data and a mechanism to ascertain if crime prevention approaches, programs, and campaigns are effective,” Fiero said. “ASU Police also uses the data to work collaboratively with departments like ASU Housing to address the prevalence of specific crimes.”
Fiero considers the Clery numbers as an important part of seeing the picture of crime prevalence on campus, but says ASU does not rely solely on Clery numbers, as there are specific reporting requirements for inclusion in the annual security report.
She believes other numbers are more accurate partially because the Clery Act data is typically more than a year old, making trends hard to track.
Students, parents, and visitors can access a full version of the 2020 Federal Clery Report on the Arizona State University website.
Contact the reporter at [email protected].