Thursday, October 08, 2009

Serious Over-Reporting Situation at UC Davis

by Sabrina Sadler, Social Outreach Intern

This was the first article I’ve had the chance to read, regarding the over-reported sex crime statistics from UC Davis.

My immediate thoughts first raised question to the school. How was UC Davis unaware of the over-reported sex crimes for 3 consecutive years?

I also wondered which statistics are actually correct. I know college campuses do not want to have high crime statistics. Is this a way for UC Davis to lower campus sex crimes while not taking fault for it?

Sexual assault is one of the most under reported crimes, with 60% of crimes being left unreported. (U.S. Department of Justice.2005 National Crime Victimization Study. 2005)

I do not know all the facts to this story, but from the articles I have read, the blame seems to focus on the director of the Campus Violence Prevention Program, Jennifer Beeman. Although this action may fall back on her, it is important that UC Davis is not an innocent bystander in the situation. The media and society should hold all parties responsible.

Read the article posted below or take a peak at the article links and let me know what you think.

Campus Safety Magazine: UC Davis Over-Reports Sexual Offenses by 140%

The Sacramento Bee: Feds investigate allegedly inflated UC Davis crime reports

UC Davis: We Thought Those Sex Crime Stats Seemed High...

School doesn't know why stats were over-reported, but UC Davis is in lead for $1mil Department of Justice grant

By: Matthew Keys FOX40 News

October 1, 2009

DAVIS - An internal review of sex crime reports shows the University of California at Davis accidentally reported higher than accurate statistics, a new press release from the school read Thursday.

In February, FOX40 News reported UC Davis had more reported cases of sexual assaults on campus than all other University of California schools combined, a statistic that the school spun as a positive sign that students felt comfortable reporting crimes on campus.

Now, the school says an internal review shows the campus mistakenly reported a higher than accurate instance of sex crimes.

UC Davis said the school first became aware of a problem when a staff member began compiling statistics for the Clery Act report for the previous school year. The staff member found a total of 17 sex crime reports, significantly lower than the 57 reports filed in 2007 and the 52 reports filed in 2006.

Upon further review by UC Davis campus police, the school found only 10 reports of sex crimes were reported in 2005, 4 reports in 2006 and 16 reports in 2007.

"The problem with the reporting of these statistics was an isolated incident related solely to one individual," assistant executive vice chancellor Robert Loessberg-Zahl said.

UC Davis admits the school error began by relying on a single sole individual, director of the Campus Violence Prevention Program Jennifer Beeman, to review and report statistics relating to the Clery Act. The school said they're not sure why Beeman over-reported the crime statistics; however, UC Davis is one of several schools in the lead for a $1 million federal grant from the Department of Justice aimed at "enhancing services for crime victims," the school said.

Beeman retired from UC Davis in June after being employed as the director of the Campus Violence Prevention Program for sixteen years. FOX40's Kenny Lopez attempted to interview Beeman at her Sacramento home this afternoon; Beeman greeted Lopez at the door by saying "No comment." She later called our newsroom, asking to speak to a different reporter. When Lopez called her back, she once again said she had no comment.

The school now says a panel comprised of officials from the UC Davis Police Department, the Office of Student Judicial Affairs, the City of Davis Police Department and the City of Sacramento Police Department will review statistics for both on and off-campus crimes relating to information found in future reports under the Clery Act.

Copyright © 2009, KTXL-TV

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