According to a recent study, UC Berkeley trails only Stanford in having the highest rate of reported crimes per student on California university campuses.
From 2012 to 2014, Stanford University had the most reported crimes, with an annual average of 7.94 crimes per 1,000 students. UC Berkeley followed with 3.29 crimes per 1,000 students yearly, while UCLA and UC Santa Cruz tied for third in the study with 2.84 crimes.
The study — conducted by the data-visualization firm 1 Point 21 for the law office of George Gedulin — collected statistics from the U.S. Department of Education under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or the Clery Act.
The Clery Act, which passed in 1990, requires all colleges and universities with federal funding to inform the public of crime that occurs on and around their campuses. The law also stipulates that the information be accessible to the public through the university’s annual security report.
With a campus of almost 38,000 students, UC Berkeley had a total of 371 crimes over the three years reported to campus officials from 2012 to 2014.
“We cannot avoid the fact that the university is situated in an urban environment, where crime remains a challenge,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email. He added that both the campus and UCPD “continue to implement crime reduction strategies that are having notable success.”
According to UCPD spokesperson Sgt. Sabrina Reich, these strategies have resulted in a 12 percent decrease in violent crimes reported in 2015 as compared with 2014, as well as an overall 23 percent reduction in all major crimes since 2014.
“While we believe the Berkeley campus is safe, we will never be complacent when it comes to the well-being of our students,” Reich said in an email.
Prasad Krishnamurthy, a UC Berkeley assistant law professor, said he supports the public having access to these statistics.
“The broader the access the better,” Krishnamurthy said. “I’m saying this less from an area of expertise and more as a concerned citizen.”
Stanford, which was ranked No. 1 in the study, has a student body of about 17,000 and received 404 crimes reported to campus officials from 2012 to 2014. In 2013, 26 sexual offenses were reported, and in 2014, that number rose to 30, according to Stanford’s annual crime report.
Campus crime statistics in Stanford are “heavily influenced” by the highly residential nature of the campus, according to Stanford spokesperson Lisa Lapin.
“Nearly all undergraduate students, 55 percent of graduate students, and a large number of faculty members live on the campus itself, which is not the case at all universities,” Lapin said in an email. “Therefore, crimes that typically occur in residential settings are reflected in our on-campus crime statistics.”
Anvi Bahl — a member of the ASUC Sexual Violence Commission — said while these statistics show that crime is a problem across the state, they also could potentially reduce the urgency of addressing sexual harassment specifically at UC Berkeley.
“It’s important to be aware of this country-wide issue and to try to better it, but we can’t let that take away from the severity of what is happening and has been happening at UC Berkeley,” Bahl said.