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University releases Annual Fire Safety and Security Report, sees increase in rape and aggravated assaults

2022 also saw a rise in motor vehicle theft cases and arrests for liquor law violations

<p>The report also includes information on crime prevention and resources for staying safe on Grounds in addition to fire safety information.&nbsp;</p>

The report also includes information on crime prevention and resources for staying safe on Grounds in addition to fire safety information. 

The 2023 Fire Safety and Security Report — released in early September by the University — shows an increase in reported rapes, aggravated assaults and motor vehicle thefts in 2022 compared to in 2021. 

The report includes statistics for all reportable crimes under the Clery Act, a federal mandate that requires the University to disclose information about certain crimes that occur on and off Grounds. Reportable crimes include sexual offenses, robberies, burglaries and hate crimes. Data in the 2023 report includes statistics across three years, from 2020 to 2022 — the report is released annually. 

Meghan Rapp, assistant vice president for Clery compliance and youth protection, plays a key role in writing the report. 

“We want people to have this information so that they can be able to make decisions about their personal safety,” Rapp said.

Compared to 2021 in which 40 total sexual assault related cases were reported, only 35 were reported in 2022, a 13 percent decrease. In 2022, 17 counts of rape were reported, all but one on Grounds. In 2021, 15 counts were reported. 

Aggravated assault reports increased by 171 percent — 38 in 2022 compared to 14 in 2021 — and motor vehicle thefts jumped from 19 in 2021 to 106 in 2022. Rapp said that a key reason for the increase is the higher presence of mopeds, motorized bikes and scooters on Grounds — the Clery Act includes these types of vehicles under the definition of “motor vehicle thefts,” and the increase was largely due to thefts of e-bikes and scooters. 

The report also indicated a rise in liquor law violation cases from one to three between 2021 and 2022, although the number of disciplinary action referrals for liquor law violations dropped by 42 percent. Drug abuse-related arrests remained constant between the years, but more drug abuse-related referrals for disciplinary action occurred. Illegal weapons possession increased by three. 

2022 also saw three counts of homicide after the deaths of students D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr. and Devin Chandler in November. The November shooting also resulted in two aggravated assault counts and an arrest for possession of a weapon in the report. 

Four hate crimes were reported in 2022, three intimidation based on race and one aggravated assault based on race. Four were also reported in 2020 and 2021. 

Statistics are detailed by geographic location, including in the Charlottesville, Darden Sands Family Grounds, Mountain Lake Biological Station, Richmond Center, Inova Fairfax Campus and Morven Summer Institute and Sustainability Lab areas. 

The report also includes information on crime prevention and resources for staying safe on Grounds in addition to fire safety information. Resources include educational seminars — including modules students are required to take like the new active attacker training — and confidential reporting employees. 

Rapp said that the report is a place to learn more about emergency responses and evacuation procedures as well as fire safety. It provides evacuation instructions for University-affiliated locations, including on-Grounds housing, as well as contact information for emergency and crisis resource centers.

“The Department of Safety and Security will continue to work with our local and state and federal law enforcement partners on how we can reduce violent crimes on Grounds and in the larger Charlottesville community,” Rapp said.

The public may opt-in to receive emergency alerts by texting “UVA” to 226787. Individuals can also register bicycles and scooters with the U.Va. Police.

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