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Jun 01 2016
by Taylor Lang

Is Your School A Top Burglary, Robbery or Motor Vehicle Theft School?

By Taylor Lang - Jun 01 2016
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For those who are going to be freshmen at different universities and colleges this year, it is important to always make sure that you keep your belongings in a safe place and keep your door locked when you are not in the room. Older students might be curious to see where your colleges stand in this new study, or maybe some of your belongings got stolen. Alumni may even be curious to see if their Alma Mater is now considered a top school for burglary, robbery, or motor vehicle theft. Here are the results from the study by Get Safe.

Get Safe

1. Burglaries

These are the top 20 colleges for burglaries in residence halls per 1,000 students across the last 3 years.

Cheyney University of Pennsylvania has an average of 30 per year (28 per 1,000 residents). Because the college only has about 1,000 students living on campus, its burglary rate is about 70 times higher than the national average (0.4 per 1,000 residents).

If you are curious about the state that you are going to for college, here is the visual map for all of the states in the U.S. when it comes to college burglaries in student housing.

To see if states with high on-campus burglary rates also have high burglary rates in general, we combined the OPE data with statewide burglary figures from the FBI and divided states into three categories (high, medium, and low) depending on what percentile they belonged to.

Some people do live on campus, but not in residence halls. For burglary throughout all of campus, Get Safe put out this map.


2. Robberies/Motor Vehicle Thefts

Robberies and motor vehicle thefts are less common than burglaries, but they still happen on college campuses. Get Safe has the top 20 colleges in the U.S. for both.

If you are wondering about the state that you are going to, here is a map of the results from the study.

Interestingly, every state in the top 10 for on-campus motor vehicle thefts is also ranked as high for statewide car thefts according to FBI data. 

3. Overall Burglaries, Robberies, And Motorized Vehicle Thefts

So when looking at all of this individual data, Get Safe put it all together and created a map of all of the states to show how prevalent these occurrences are.

The data comes from the past 3 years, so does it seem like these occurrences are decreasing? Get Safe states:

The OPE’s figures show that on-campus burglaries fell 55% between 2008 and 2009, but further investigation reveals that this dramatic decrease was due to a change in how burglaries on college campuses are defined by the Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting, which is the manual colleges use to categorize criminal incidents. We, therefore, cannot reliably say whether burglaries have increased or decreased.

4. Takeaway

So, as you are prepping for your first year or your return to college, please make sure to keep yourself and your belonging safe! And, if your college or state is higher up on these lists or maps, do not panic! Just keep your belongings safe, and you will have an amazing year.

5. Methodology

Data were extracted from 2001 to 2014 using the Office of Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool. To prevent colleges with very small populations from skewing the results, we excluded all colleges with fewer than 1,000 enrolled students (and 1,000 student residents, for the student housing burglary map and rankings). Where statistics are given on national totals, rates, and averages, this fact should be considered. For calculating crime rates per 1,000 dorm residents, we combined the OPE’s data with dorm capacity figures from the National Center for Education Statistics. Statewide rates used for comparisons in the state-level maps and tables were calculated using data from the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program, averaged across the same three years covered by the OPE’s data (2012 to 2014). Rates are presented rounded, but rankings were created from unrounded figures.

To read this entire study, or to see the list of sources used when compiling this study, click here.

Lead Image Credit: Get Safe

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Taylor Lang - Syracuse University

Taylor is a Broadcast and Digital Journalism Major at Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She started writing and editing as a freshman for Fresh U. From there, she began to help create and expand the News and Multimedia Departments. When not doing something relating to journalism, she LOVES Disney and reading while sipping hot tea. She hopes to inspire others to follow their passions and do what makes them happy.

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