Much Campus Crime Goes Unreported: New Post-Virginia Tech Report Gives Added Weight to Concerns

  • September 20, 2007
  • By John Gramlich

Schools and colleges across the country do not report crime and violent incidents on campus consistently or accurately -- in many cases because they are not required to, according to safety experts and a new report by 27 state attorneys general.

A patchwork of state and federal laws intended to tally assaults, robberies, drug use and other crime at primary and secondary schools -- as well as colleges and universities -- fails to provide a clear picture of the scope of the problem, critics charge. Out-of-date, incomplete statistics are common and authorities have few effective tools to penalize institutions that do not comply, including fines that observers say amount to a "drop in the bucket."

Making matters worse, school and college officials are reluctant to release more comprehensive information on their own because of stigmas that can be attached to institutions with frequent occurrences of crime, said Ronald Stephens, executive director of the California-based National School Safety Center, which advocates for safer primary and secondary schools.

Read the full report Much Campus Crime Goes Unreported on the Web site.