Crime Report Card for Ivy League Schools Issued by Insite Security

As the 2010 fall semester gears up, many worried parents send their children off to colleges and universities in hopes that they are living and learning in a safe environment.  For those parents sending their kids to an Ivy League School and other "top" universities the hope is that for tens – and even hundreds -- of thousands of dollars spent on tuition, room and board that their kids will be safe, secure and protected.

Sadly this is far from the case, according to a new campus crime study published by Insite Security (www.insitesecurity.com).  The Insite Ivy League Crime Report examined a cross section of schools across the nation (including all eight members of the Ivy League as well as Stanford, MIT, Duke and the University of Chicago) and the level of crimes reported both on campus and in the surrounding towns.

Three quarters of the schools examined reported forcible sex offenses higher than the national rape averages with Dartmouth in Hanover, New Hampshire reporting the highest campus sexual offense rate while Harvard has the highest incidence of burglary(1).

"Rape is a serious national problem that affects young women of college age more than any other group," said Christopher Falkenberg, President of Insite Security. "Far more prevalent than rape on college campuses, however, are forcible sex offenses where women are subjected to unwanted touching, humiliation, and abuse at levels far higher than mere rape statistics suggest."

"Colleges have historically underreported crimes that happen on campus.  Of even greater importance is the fact that Universities do not have to report crimes that happen close to campus and impact their students. For example, incidents occurring in a coffee house near to campus would not be reported even though its clientele would likely be dominated by students from the University.  Our study juxtaposes local police agency data with campus crime statistics to give the clearest view of how safe the U.S.'s top schools actually are," said Falkenberg. "Parents are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars sending their children to institutes of higher learning and in return should expect a safe environment both on campus and off."

Falkenberg added, "Following the rape and murder of 19-year-old Jeanne Clery in her dorm, her family persuaded Congress to enact legislation mandating universities to disclose information about crime on their campuses. It is a tribute to their efforts that this information is now available. But parents also need to be aware of crime problems in areas surrounding campuses where their children socialize and in some cases actually live. Students don't only face dangers on campus. They face them in bars, in coffee-houses, on streets, at parties and so on. Insite's Ivy League Crime Report will empower parents across the country to make more informed decisions and take actions to help protect their children before they get to school."

With this type of information in hand, there are things that parents and college-age kids alike can be doing to ensure their safety during the college years.

  • In addition to checking out the crime stats on campus, be sure to review the crime stats for the surrounding city or municipality of the school, especially if the setting is urban. Note that urban Universities sometimes do not have dorms – thus certain victimization rates are likely to be lower in campus statistics, but will be included in local crime statistics because they take place in private residences and properties.
  • Closely guard your stuff!  Laptops, iPods, software, digital cameras and iPhones are easy prey for those looking to steal. Consider security software to protect the sensitive data of a hard drive should it fall into the wrong hands.
  • Identity theft is a growing problem on campus. Make sure to create strong passwords for all online accounts that include numbers and special characters such as "!@#$" and remember to change your passwords frequently. Also be sure to keep track of your financial transactions for your records and referral.
  • Have a regular call-in time with key members of your family.  Many times nervous parents don't hear from their children and report them as missing, when in reality, they just have not returned a few phone calls.
  • Sexual assault is one of the most underreported crimes affecting women on college campuses.  We recommend the tried and true buddy system.  Keep your guard up and watch out for each other.  If there is alcohol involved at a party, make sure you have a plan to get home in advance of any drinking.

"Going off to college is a very exciting but very stressful time.  There is a lot going on and you are most vulnerable when your guard is down," said Robert Sugrue, Managing Director, Insite Security and a former executive with Columbia University's Department of Public Safety.  "So while college is an important time to spread your wings and find out who you are, it is also a time for vulnerabilities to be exposed with the combination of new freedoms, new relationships and easy access to drugs and alcohol."

(1) See Appendix A for the "Crime Report Card - The Ivy League at a Glance" statistical data.

About Insite Security

Insite Security specializes in personal security for high net worth individuals as well as large national and multi-national corporations. The company regularly consults with Fortune 1000 companies and high net worth individuals on threat assessments and management, executive and family protection, security training, evacuation training, workplace security, disaster recovery planning.  Insite also consults on security management in such areas as outsourced security management, threat and vulnerability assessments, information security and executive and family protection. Its business continuity planning helps corporate leaders in crisis management and disaster recovery planning, often through testing and simulations. Insite also offers investigative services, providing background investigations, due diligence, litigation support and identity theft resolution. Follow Insite on Twitter @InsiteSecurity.

Appendix A

CRIME REPORT CARD
The Ivy League at a Glance

Selected crime and sanction rates in 'Ivy League Plus' Universities and Colleges, 2008



Offense types:(1)

Sanctions for:(2)



Burglary

Forcible sex
offenses(3)

Liquor law
violations

Drug law
violations

National

7.31

0.29

2.06

5.60

Brown University





   Campus

10.10

0.48

3.73

3.61

   Providence, RI

10.97

0.26

NA

NA

University of Chicago





   Campus

2.98

0.20

0.20

0.20

   Chicago, IL

9.20

NA

NA

NA

Columbia University(4)





   Campus

5.39

0.34

8.58

4.05

   New York, NY

2.38

0.11

NA

NA

Cornell University





   Campus

2.35

0.09

12.71

5.37

   Ithaca, NY

6.87

0.03

NA

NA

Dartmouth College





   Campus

3.59

3.93

20.69

4.62

   Hanover, NH

0.99

0.45

NA

NA

Duke University





   Campus

3.63

0.36

23.47

3.70

   Durham, NC

15.74

0.34

NA

NA

Harvard





   Campus

11.06

1.32

1.06

2.00

   Boston, MA

5.78

0.39

NA

NA

Massachusetts Institute of Technology





   Campus

8.35

0.39

1.36

1.17

   Boston, MA

5.78

0.39

NA

NA

University of Pennsylvania





   Campus

1.74

0.29

1.66

1.33

   Philadelphia, PA

8.91

0.72

NA

NA

Princeton University





   Campus

7.91

2.59

18.28

8.46

   Princeton, NJ(5)

3.65

0.10

NA

NA

Stanford University





   Campus

10.43

0.56

4.77

2.97

   Palo Alto, CA(6)

7.00

0.25

NA

NA

Yale University





   Campus

5.30

1.37

12.56

2.26

   New Haven, CT

13.65

0.53

NA

NA






(1) Campus statistics for criminal offenses represent offenses reported to campus security authorities and/or local police agencies. Incidents may have occurred on campus, in residence halls, on a noncampus building or property, or on public property within or immediately adjacent to and accessible from the campus. These incidents may include victimizations of students, faculty, staff and others who are not members of the campus community. For institutions with more than one campus, data shown include crimes reported at all campuses combined. Because some statistics are provided by non-police authorities, the data may not be directly comparable to counts and rates of offenses known to police as represented in city and national crime statistics. Rates for campus crimes are per thousand students enrolled. Local and national rates reflect crimes known to police per 1,000 population respectively.

(2) Sanctions include arrests and referrals to University judicial authorities for disciplinary action regarding liquor and drug law violations. Liquor law violations are violations of state or local laws or ordinances relating to the illegal use, possession or trade of alcohol, excluding DUI and drunkenness. Drug law violations are violations of laws prohibiting the production, distribution and/or use of certain controlled substances and the equipment or devices utilized in their preparation and/or use. National rates are arrests for drug and liquor law violations per 1,000 population, respectively. Data on sanctions were obtained from the Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool (CSDACT).  In cases where a university's campus security annual report contained different data from the CSDACT, the statistics contained in the university report were used.

(3) City and national crime statistics shown are for forcible rape offenses only while campus crime statistics may refer to forcible fondling and other sex offenses involving force.

(4) Data for the Columbia University Teachers College are excluded

(5) Figures shown are for Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township combined.

(6) Figures shown are for Palo Alto and East Palo Alto combined.

Sources: Campus Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool; Federal Bureau of Investigation Crime in the United States, 2008 and 2009 Preliminary Crime Statistics; Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics; Cornell Police Campus Watch 2010-11 and Security at Duke University 2009-2010.

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