Burglary down, drug violations up at CSUN

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On-campus burglary dropped significantly in 2004, but rape and liquor and drug violations increased, according to a report by CSUN police.

Every year, CSUN police is required by law to compile and make public by Oct. 1 its Crime Awareness and Campus Security Report as part of its full compliance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act.

Some of the categories covered in the report are robbery, vehicle theft, murder, arson, hate crimes, drug and liquor violations and weapon possession. The 2004 statistics are placed next to statistics from 2002 and 2003 so that the reader can compare and contrast.

“The most frequently asked question we receive about the report is, ‘Why did this (number) go up and why did this (number) go down?'” said Anne Glavin, CSUN chief of police. “We don’t know why numbers go up, but we are always working hard to make numbers go down.”

For example, there were 110 burglaries on campus in 2003. In 2004 that number was cut almost in half to 57, 46 of which were committed in campus residences. The rest of the burglaries occurred on either public property or non-campus property.

“We really knocked out a burglary theft program,” Glavin said. “We are really making people aware. We have come a long way and are committed to the students’ safety.”

Five incidents of rape occurred on campus in 2004, all in the University Park Apartments’ and campus residence halls, up from two incidents in 2003 and one incident in 2002.

The crime category of sexual battery dropped from seven incidents in 2003 to three incidents in 2004.

Violations of liquor laws increased from 2003, as well as drug violations, which went up from 22 incidents in 2003 to 37 incidents in 2004, with 24 of those violations occurring in the dorms.

The department also stepped up its referral of alleged offenses to university officials for possible disciplinary action. In 2003, 58 referrals were made. In 2004, the figure jumped to 122.

Vehicle theft was down in 2004, with 14 incidents and in 2003, there were 31 incidents of vehicle theft.

“Crime statistics are like a roller coaster,” Glavin said. “They go up and then they go down. It’s cyclical, but students still need to be aware.”

When a crime is committed at CSUN, there are four places it is categorized as having happened: on campus, residence, public property, or non-campus property.

On campus means the crime happened on CSUN grounds, including but is not limited to the residence halls. A crime marked “residence community” means the incident occurred on campus, but specifically in the residence halls.

“Public property is an adjacent street or sidewalk next to campus,” Glavin said. “It isn’t exactly property of CSUN, but it’s so close it may as well be. Our students are always using them to get back and forth from classes.”

“Non-campus property is a little tricky,” she said. “It is a branch of the campus which is frequently used by our students for campus-related things.”

There are some areas around campus that police do not respond to for various reasons. According to the crime report, the Los Angeles Police Department is the “primary responding law enforcement agency to the Northridge Campus Residence apartment complex, off-campus fraternities and sororities, and other student organizations located off-campus in the city of Los Angeles.”

“Unless it’s a major felony or crime, we don’t get involved,” said Bill Maarschalk, a lieutenant watch commander for the LAPD Devonshire Division. “That does not happen very often at all. CSUN takes care of it’s own stuff.”

Rape and liquor and drug violations are the only three categories of crime that have risen every year since 2002, but those are also the three areas the CSUN Police Department said it does not really have much control over.

“Police don’t stop the problem on campus,” said CSUN Police Capt. Scott Vanscoy. “We work with the campus community and they trust us, but we don’t control 100 percent of anything.”

The Department of Public Safety educates students on how to help prevent these types of crimes from happening on campus.

“Students need to think about the situation they are in.” Glavin said. “If you raise the students’ awareness level, you are also increasing the power of crime prevention.”

To help inform and educate students, the CSUN Police Department puts together brochures and pamphlets on situations that could invite a crime.

“Right now, people really want to know about identity theft,” Glavin said. “It’s what is hot right now.”

The crime report is available at police headquarters in UPA Building 14 and online.

“So far this year, all of (the numbers) have been down,” Vanscoy said. “And we have been working with the community to keep those numbers down.”

Jason Tanner can be reached at jmt35634@csun.edu.