ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Reports of aggravated assault and stalking more than doubled on the University of New Mexico campus last year, according to the school’s annual Clery Act on-campus crime report.
Reports of sexual assault and domestic violence also increased, but not as dramatically.
University of New Mexico police say they don’t believe there is more crime – but that people are feeling more encouraged to report crimes and that crime remains relatively low for the size of the university community.
- Aggravated assault increased from 6 to 15.
- Sexual assault increased from 12 to 18.
- Domestic violence from 13 to 15.
- Robberies from 0 to 5.
- Burglaries dropped from 24 to 15.
“For 50,000 to 75,000 people,” UNM police Lt. Tim Stump said. “In a community that size, it (the crime rate) is relatively low, but each count is a victim and we are very aware of that.”
Central New Mexico Community College also released its Clery Act report on Thursday showing crime across the school’s campuses dropped in all areas except stalking – which, as at UNM, increased.
Crime at New Mexico State University’s Las Cruces campus showed a sharp drop in burglaries and stalking but an increase in domestic violence.
“We did a big push to have people report, that’s why the numbers are up,” said Stump, noting that preliminary numbers of stalking reports are also up for 2015, though those are not included in the most recent report, which uses 2014 data.
He believes stalking and sexual assaults haven’t been happening more, “but people are reporting more” as more resources have become available, including the new LoboRESPECT first-stop reporting center.
That holds for CNM, says Phillip Bustos, vice president for student services.
He said the school’s security unit, which is not a police force, has been making a push to be more visible and available to the CNM community.
“It’s just that we have done our best to help students report them (stalking incidents) and get the information out to our students,” Bustos said. “We have reached out to our community and been more responsive” with more foot and bike patrols.
Residential units and areas near campus also count in the report.
At NMSU, 20 of the 23 reported domestic or dating violence incidents happened in a residential facility, including family housing units where most of the domestic violence incidents happened, said NMSU police Deputy Chief Andy Bowen.
Burglaries on the NMSU campus dropped dramatically after Bowen said the campus police started a targeted effort. He said officers identified a repeat offender who contributed to the burglary numbers.
That person was taken into custody three months ago, he said, and changes in burglary numbers for this year might be reflected in next year’s Clery Act report.