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Stanford Department of Public Safety releases 2020 Clery Act crime statistics

The Stanford Department of Public Safety has published campus crime statistics for 2020 on its website as a part of the annual Safety, Security and Fire Report.

The Stanford University Department of Public Safety (DPS) on Tuesday posted statistics about campus crimes reported in 2020, including burglaries, aggravated assaults, robberies, vehicle thefts and sexual offenses, in compliance with federal law.

The Stanford DPS publishes the numbers annually in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act.

The crime statistics reflect incidents that were reported to have occurred on the main campus and other locations used by students that are immediately adjacent to the campus, including the two Stanford hospitals and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. Also included are statistics for non-campus areas, Stanford-affiliated program areas used by students that are not geographically contiguous to the main campus, as well as adjacent public property.

The statistics reflect incidents reported in the 2020 calendar year to university staff who are required to share such reports with the Stanford DPS or its Clery Compliance Office, which is led by Vince Bergado. Incidents reported to police are also included. The statistics collected by the Clery Compliance Office reflect reported alleged offenses.

“While some of the crimes were reported directly to Stanford DPS by the victims, many crimes were not investigated by law enforcement because the incident information was reported to other university officials,” Bergado said.

“These officials, called campus security authorities under the Clery Act, are obligated to provide information to the Clery Office in compliance with state and federal laws. Sexual assaults. for example, are most often reported to the university’s Title IX office, which, in turn, notifies the Clery Office of the alleged crime to comply with statistical reporting laws.”

Bergado said the Clery Compliance Office works continuously to refine processes and gather accurate information in order to share it for the benefit of the Stanford community.

The 2020 statistics are available on the Stanford DPS website.

Campus crimes reported in 2020

According to the Stanford DPS, the total number of sexual offenses reported to university officials last year was 32, compared with 63 in 2019 and 52 in 2018. Eight of those sexual offenses were reported to law enforcement for the purpose of a criminal investigation and included reports to the Palo Alto Police Department.

The total number of sexual offenses in 2020 included 15 rapes, including four reports of rape that occurred prior to 2020, but were not reported until last year. Last year, the Clery Compliance Office received 17 fondling complaints.

In 2020, the Clery Compliance Office received eight reports of domestic violence, compared with 67 in 2019 and 16 in 2018.

Last year, the Clery Compliance Office received reports of 26 incidents of stalking, compared with 42 in 2019 and 16 in 2018.

Stanford encourages anyone who has been the victim of abuse to seek support. Last year, the university created the SHARE Title IX Office to address sexual assault, and sexual harassment education and response. Students can also seek support from the Stanford Confidential Support Team (CST) or Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) in Vaden Health Services, as well as the YWCA @ Stanford Program. The Faculty Staff Help Center also offers support.

Last year, the Clery Compliance Office received reports of 22 aggravated assaults, compared with 14 in 2019 and 13 in 2018. Of the aggravated assaults reported last year, only two were reported to the Stanford DPS for investigation. (An aggravated assault is an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting serious or aggravated bodily injury.)

In 2020, 42 building burglaries were reported, compared with 37 in 2019 and 46 in 2018.

Last year, during the time the campus was largely closed due to the pandemic, the Stanford DPS took steps to ensure the security of institutional and personal property, Bergado said.

“Additional building checks by the Stanford DPS across campus resulted in over 850 service calls to secure doors and windows and reduce potential opportunities for property crime,” he said.

Last year, the Stanford DPS received 24 reports of motor vehicle thefts, compared with 14 in 2019 and 35 in 2018. Five of the 24 reports of motor vehicle thefts last year occurred at Stanford-affiliated locations off the main campus. Among the motor vehicles reported stolen last year were 15 cars, six golf carts and three motorcycles.

In 2020, the Stanford DPS received reports of five arrests related to violations of liquor laws, compared with 38 in 2019 and 41 in 2018. Last year, there were 16 drug-related arrests, compared with 14 in 2019 and 12 in 2018. Arrests for violations of weapons laws totaled six in 2020, compared with 10 in 2019 and nine in 2018.

Hate crimes

Ten hate crimes were reported in 2020, including three cases of battery (classified as simple assault in the Clery Act), three acts of intimidation and four acts of vandalism. In 2019, Stanford DPS received reports of five hate crimes and in 2018 there were four.

In one battery case, a suspect used an epithet based on national origin and punched the victim on the shoulder. In another, a suspect on a tennis court used profanity in reference to the perceived national origin of the victim and hit a ball that struck the victim’s leg. The remaining battery case was a report of physical abuse that occurred in 2017 in a non-intimate relationship that the victim indicated was motivated by a bias against the victim’s sexual orientation; the incident was not reported until 2020.

In one intimidation case, the Stanford DPS received a report from the Palo Alto Police Department that a vehicle occupied by two people pulled up alongside the victim’s car as the victim waited at a stoplight to exit campus. Occupants in the suspect’s vehicle used a racial epithet, pointed a gun and told the victim to “get out of here.” In other acts of intimidation, two campus residents received packages containing items that demonstrated bias against sexual orientation and were perceived as threatening by the recipients.

The vandalism reports included incidents in which two people living in the same residential facility on campus received packages defaced with statements indicating a racial bias. In another incident, someone defaced a wall in Memorial Church with two swastikas. In a fourth incident, someone defaced a Black Lives Matter sign with ink.

Stanford encourages anyone who has been the victim of a hate crime or bias-motivated incident to seek support.

At Stanford, the process for handling incidents where a community member feels harmed is known as Protected Identity Harm (PIH) Reporting. A PIH incident could rise to the level of hate crime but is also inclusive of conduct or an incident that adversely and unfairly targets an individual or group on the basis of one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics: race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, marital status or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.

The Clery Compliance Office shares the responsibility for collecting crime reports with offices and programs across campus, including the staff that manage the PIH reporting process who work closely with and in the Office of Inclusion, Community and Integrative Learning and the Office of the Dean of Students, as well as the Office of Substance Use Programs, Education and Resources – all of which are part of Student Affairs.

Safety, Security & Fire Report

The Stanford DPS provides safety, security, law enforcement, crime prevention and emergency response service for the university’s main campus.

The department published its full annual report, the 2021 Safety, Security & Fire Report, on Sept. 28, 2021. In addition to providing crime statistics, the report provides information about campus programs that promote personal safety and crime prevention.

Laura Wilson, director of public safety, said many people at Stanford DPS and other departments across campus work diligently to collect and classify reported crimes.

“Equally important, the annual Safety, Security & Fire Report contains information about safety and security,” she said. “My hope is that every member of the Stanford community will take a few minutes to review the material so that they will be better prepared to contribute to the overall safety of our community.”

Under the Clery Act, the Stanford DPS compiles statistics on specific crimes: sexual offenses; aggravated assaults; building burglaries and motor vehicle thefts; violations of liquor, drug and weapons laws; and hate crimes motivated by prejudice based on race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other grounds.

The statistics reflect crimes that involve students, faculty and staff, as well as crimes that involve visitors and people who were on campus for other activities, such as a camp, conference or event.