The number of disciplinary referrals for liquor and drug abuse violations fell by more than 25 percent in 2019, according to the University’s annual Fire Safety and Security report. The number of reports of rape and fondling offenses also decreased in 2019, while the number of offenses for other crimes and violence against women remained constant.
The report is mandated by the Clery Act, a federal law that requires transparency in relation to crime statistics on college campuses. The University also includes reports of dating violence, domestic violence and stalking in the Fire Safety and Security report, which outlines all crimes reported to the University Police Department, other law enforcement and University officials.
Students can report crimes without sharing personal information through the University’s Just Report It system and two apps used by the UPD, TipSoft and LiveSafe. Students can also speak to confidential employees who will not share anything discussed at the U.Va. Emergency Department, Student Health and the Women’s Center.
According to the report, there was a decrease of 50 percent in arrests related to liquor. In total, there were 19 liquor and 16 drug-related arrests in 2019, compared to 38 total arrests for liquor law violations and 25 total arrests for drug violations in 2018. The number of referrals dropped from 449 to 328 for liquor — a 27 percent decrease — and 30 to 13 for drug abuse — a 56 percent decrease.
Ben Rexrode, University Police Department crime prevention coordinator, said in an email statement to The Cavalier Daily that the significant decreases between 2018 and 2019 in liquor and drug-related violations were not due to any changes in UPD policy.
“There were no significant changes in the way University Police addressed incidents involving alcohol or drugs from 2018 to 2019,” Rexrode said. “The reportable data on the Annual Fire Safety and Security Report often fluctuates from year to year without there being any major change to law enforcement’s approach.”
Between 2018 and 2019, reports of dating violence went down from 16 to six, a more than 60 percent decrease from 2018. Reports of stalking, however, remained nearly constant at 43 and 42 in 2018 and 2019, respectively. Reports of domestic violence also barely changed between these years, at 14 and 12.
Reported cases of rape decreased from 28 in 2018 to 17 in 2019 — closer to the 16 offenses that occurred in 2017. Fondling reports also fell to eight total cases from 16 in 2018.
Rates of robbery and motor vehicle theft remained almost identical between 2018 and 2019, at three and two and eight and seven, respectively. Aggravated assault and burglary were also relatively constant at nine and seven and 16 and 14 between the two years.
The fire safety side of the report detailed four fires recorded in on-Grounds housing in 2019. Three were burnt food and totaled from $0 to $199 in damages, while one was an unintentional mattress fire that totaled anywhere from $100,000 to $249,000 in damages. Two of the fires were in Bice, one was in Hereford Residential College and one was in the International Residential College.