Despite UC Irvine’s reputation as being a safe school in one of the safest cities in America, current statistics reveal a wide variety of crimes reported to UCI police.
According to Marla Purcell, the administrative director of the UCI Police Department, the first few weeks of school typically have an increased amount of crime. This is due to the sudden increase in the student population coupled with the fact that peoples’ guards are down.
“Always take safety precautions, by keeping valuables with you and reporting suspicious activity. Take actions that will help prevent you from being a victim,” Purcell said.
Each year, UCIPD releases a security report detailing crime statistics, per requirements by the federal Clery Act. These statistics take into account all reports of criminal activity, including those given to non-police staff as well as those that take place on campus-adjacent properties. Additionally, crime statistics reported solely from the police are also reported to the FBI and presented by the systemwide UCPD.
Notably, there was little to no increase between 2012 and 2013 in violent crime, which includes criminal homicide, forcible rape, robbery and assault.
Last year, there were 24 driving under the influence violations, nine violent crimes and 23 property crime arrests.
Property crime, a category that includes theft, burglary and vandalism, dropped 10 percent between 2012 and 2013.
Property theft is common at UCI, with bicycles, jewelry and computers being some of the most vulnerable items. In 2013, stolen bicycles totalled $33,581 and had only a 7 percent recovery rate. Despite a $46,211 total in losses, stolen computers fared better, with a 20 percent recovery rate. Jewelry theft, unfortunately, amounted to $35,695 and saw no recoveries.
Additionally, last year there were 10 cases involving firearms and blades, as well as 32 domestic violence cases with and without weapons.
The Clery data, which includes student housing facilities, reported 15 sexual assaults and 43 burglaries last year.
According to statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, 60 percent of sexual assaults remain unreported.
Dr. Mandy Mount, the Director of Campus Assault Resources and Education (CARE) office, says that sexual victimization is common at the start of fall quarter.
Established in 2005, the CARE office provides students and faculty with resources and services such as consultation on rape and sexual assault, relationships and intimate partner violence.
According to Dr. Mount, freshmen and sophomores are at greater risk of victimization than juniors and seniors. She also notes that 84 percent of women experience sexual coercion in their first four semesters of college, and women under 21 are more likely to experience sexual assault.
“Sexual assault is the most personal of violations,” Dr. Mount said. “A person who commits sexual assault makes a decision to control the choices and body of another person, while communicating to that person that their desires, wants and personal voice are irrelevant and unimportant.”
UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman recently informed the UCI community of a new sex offense policy. Students can refer to the Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity and the UCI Sex Offense Information websites to learn more, found at www.oeod.uci.edu and www.soinfo.uci.edu.
The CARE office is located at G320 Student Center and their website is www.care.uci.edu.
“As an actively engaged community of caring individuals who value respect and human rights, we can bring an end to these traumatic experiences that affect so many in their college years,” Dr. Mount said.