Report shows USU crime rate low

Crime at Utah State University is low, with liquor law violations being the most reported crime according to a report released Thursday. The Crime Awareness and Campus Security Report for Utah State University, covering years 2008 through 2010, is mandated by the Federal Clery Act, and all employees must be notified. The report includes crimes that occurred on property owned or controlled by USU, as well as public property within, or immediately adjacent to and accessible from, the campus. The report also details security policies and procedures. From 2008 to 2010, there were 117 liquor law violations reported, with the majority of incidents occurring on campus. According to the report, USU regulations specifically prohibit possessing, consuming, or selling of alcoholic beverages on campus, including athletic events. Utah law prohibits the consumption of alcohol in any arena or stadium. Anyone found in violation of these regulations is subject to arrest. Chief Steven Mecham of USU Police and Security said DUI is not included in this definition. Violations are either reported by the public or an officer that runs across an individual in violation. Mecham said, “For a college of our size, we have very few violations, averaging around 30 arrests a year. Generally we are lower, conservative nature of our community.” While no disciplinary actions were reported for liquor law violations, Mecham said this is because either arrests or disciplinary action must be reported. If an individual is arrested, the USU police refer the offender to the campus judicial system where corrective measures are taken, such as a 10-hour alcohol and drug education class. No hate crimes were reported for the 2008-2010 period. A hate crime is committed on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. This does not necessarily mean, however, that hate crimes are not occurring. Mecham said, “We hope that if there are hate crimes happening, people are reporting them because it is worth it. We’d rather respond to 100 false alarms because we could have made a difference in a real situation.” People need to trust their gut feeling, Mecham said. “If you are seeing something that does not seem right, tell us. If you are victim of a crime, you might not be the only one,” Mecham said. “We can put the pieces of the puzzle together, and there’s a better chance of catching the perpetrator.” Few sexual offenses were reported. Mecham said almost all of the incidents involved someone the victim was acquainted with. As for burglaries, an unusually high number occurred in 2008. Thirty-one incidents were reported during a string of computer thefts, including several projectors stolen from the Fine Arts building. Mecham said, “We’ve worked hard to have a good relationship with housing and Associated Student of Utah State University (ASUSU) to keep problems down. I think it is part of the reason USU has such a low crime rate.” Learn more about the Clery Act and USU security by contacting the USU Department of Public Safety at 797-1967 or at

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