University's annual crime report: sexual violence increases on campus

Meanwhile, the Polytechnic campus shows spikes in several offenses

There was a spike in reported cases of sexual violence across most of ASU's campuses from 2015–16, according to the University's annual release of crime statistics, a comprehensive account on all reported on-campus offenses. 

The report, which was released in late September, included information on all six of ASU’s campuses.

Overall, the Tempe campus had the largest amount of crime again this past year with almost 2,000 reported incidents, but that number reflects a drop of nearly 200 recorded cases of crime from 2015–16.

“While we are proud of the progress we have made in the past several years; we intend to continue to develop and evaluate innovative prevention strategies and to empower students to make use as necessary of the multiple reporting options and support available,” ASU officials said in a statement emailed to students, faculty and staff upon the release of the report. 

Violent Crimes

Almost all of ASU’s campuses showed an increase of crimes related to sexual violence from 2015. On the Tempe campus, 19 cases of rape were recorded by campus law enforcement, five more than the previous year. 

A single statutory rape was reported last year on the Tempe campus, the first case of its kind on any of the University’s campuses in three years.

Occurrences of aggravated assault showed no change on the Tempe campus, with eight recorded incidents.


Theft-related crimes were reported the most on ASU’s Tempe campus.

On-campus robbery tripled, with an increase from two cases in the 2015 school year to six in 2016. 

However, instances of burglary on the Tempe campus decreased by over 50 percent from 2015, with 25 cases reported in comparison to the 57 of the previous year. 

At Tempe, motor vehicle theft decreased by approximately 50 percent from last year, with 11 such crimes reported in 2016. 

Burglaries on the Polytechnic campus have increased steadily throughout the years with three cases in 2014, four in 2015 and five in 2016.

The Polytechnic campus had the second most theft-related crimes with six reported cases. West and Downtown followed with three and two cases, respectively. 

Drugs and Alcohol

Among the six campuses, the Tempe campus had the largest amount of drug and alcohol related arrests, with Polytechnic coming in second.

However, last year Tempe had an overall decrease in alcohol referrals for the first time in three years. That said, alcohol arrests showed a slight spike in 2016 with 371 arrests made, 57 more than in the previous year.

Alcohol arrests on the Polytechnic campus increased significantly from 2015–16, with 15 arrests made, substantially larger than the one arrest reported in 2015.

Other Notable Statistics

Arrests based on weapon violations were made for the first time in three years. The two incidents — documented on the Tempe campus — were the only ones of their kind to be reported on an ASU campus.

Stalking cases on both the Tempe and Downtown Phoenix campuses also increased. Downtown reported one case of stalking in 2015 and five in 2016. Occurrences on the Tempe campus more than doubled with seven cases in 2016 and three in 2015.

The colleges at Lake Havasu reported a singular case of arson, maintaining its consistently low crime numbers.

The Thunderbird campus reported three on-campus crimes in 2016, displaying similarly low crime rates.

Counseling and other resources are available for students who are victims of sexual violence, domestic abuse or similar crimes. A Victim’s Hotline is also available at 480-965-0107.

The ASU police department offers other helpful contacts and various on-campus resources centered around student safety.

Reach the reporter at Kimberly.Rapanut@asu or follow @kimrapanut on Twitter.

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