Director of Campus Safety Nathan Kemp and Associate Director of Campus Safety Dan Robinson were pleased to see a drop in sexual assault statistics in this year’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report.
Kemp and Robinson also expect drug violations to continue to decrease with the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis.
Sexual assault covers rape, fondling, incest and statutory rape. In the past three years, there have been no reports of incest or statutory rape.
According to the report, the number of reported rapes decreased from ten in 2017 to seven in 2018. Reports of fondling were down from five in 2017 to zero in 2018.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) offenses also saw a decrease in reported numbers in the report. There were no reports in the past three years of domestic violence offenses. Reported dating violence offenses reduced from five in 2017 to four in 2018. Stalking fell from five reported offenses in 2017 to three in 2018.
While Kemp and Robinson were glad to see a drop in sexual assault and VAWA offenses, they emphasized the importance of reporting these crimes and could not say for certain that this downward trend would continue.
“Whether that represents a long term trend is something yet to be discovered,” Kemp said.
Kemp expects numbers of drug offenses to continue on a downward trend. Numbers of drug offenses have seen a major decrease over the last three years. According to the report, 2016 saw 39 reported drug offenses. That number was cut by more than half in 2017 to 14 reported offenses. Reported drug offenses for 2018 dropped to only five.
“Laws are changing regarding cannabis possession, and that is reflected in the statistics to some degree because of the previous decriminalization of less than 10 grams,” Kemp said.
Kemp said the legalization of cannabis next year is expected to keep the number of reported drug offenses low.
“Because of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act, we’re still required to be a drug free campus,” Kemp said.
Kemp and Robinson emphasized the importance of the Knox community reporting any and all crimes they have seen or experienced to Campus Safety.