University of Kansas releases figures showing significant jump in reported crime

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LAWRENCE, Kan. -- Reported crime has gone up on the University Of Kansas campus, according to the school's public safety office.

It released its 2014 crime report, showing a 24 percent jump in campus crime compared with 2013.

Campus police say it's easy to see the 24 percent increase and think it's only indicative of a rise in crime, but campus police argue that spike has to do more with reporting crime and vigilance.

"I have never been in a position where I felt uncomfortable,” said KU student Laura Reynolds.

She and several others students say they've never felt unsafe on campus, but were a bit concerned to hear about a 24 percent bump in campus crime.

"To hear it's increasing is never a good sign," said Reynolds.

The public safety office report says there were 834 criminal offenses in 2014, compared with 670 the year before. The report showed drug offenses went up from 107 to 177 in that same time.

The spike isn't at all a surprise to Captain James Anguiano with the campus' public safety office.

"If you go over the statistics for the last 10 years you will see that it`s kind of moderate. Right in between,” said Anguiano.

He said 2013's report for campus crime between 2012 and 2013 was down 18 percent. What he credits for the 2013-2014 increase is not necessarily more crime, but law enforcement and campus staff being better a spotting, and reporting.

"It`s more awareness, especially with the drug offenses . We do training with student housing as well as entities within our public, and with technology. People calling things in on their cellphone that`s part of the increase plus the training taken by the officers, time taken by the officers patrolling the campus areas," said Anguiano.

The report comes on the heels of criticism over the way campus reported sexual assaults have been handled, including an incident in November when masked men interrupted classes in protest. Also, a Twitter campaign #a great place not to be safe made the rounds. That movement got started when students called for an alleged attacker to be more harshly punished.

Campus police says the sexual assault, and every other crime are taken seriously. The report classifies rape as a violent crime, a category that makes up around one percent of all crimes reported.

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