BC campus crime stats released


Veronica Morley, Reporter

The BC Department of Public Safety has released its annual Campus Security and Fire Safety Report detailing the statistics of all criminal incidents in the BC area for the past three years. The statistics do not include incidents for this school year.

Christopher Counts, head of Public Safety at BC, also provides information about public safety and awareness of what is happening around campus. In just the few months since this semester started, there have already been several disturbances reported to Campus Security.

According to Counts, “We are committed to making everyone on our campus safe; we provide a variety of services through the Department of Public Safety and other departments, including a security escort service, personal safety tips, sexual assault prevention tips, survivor assistance and officer patrols. Students should take the time to inform themselves about these programs.”

He also urges students to make themselves aware of the incidents happening around campus.

The report itself outlines various details and statistics about crimes on campus and surrounding areas for the past three years. Most of the categories of crimes have no reports for any of the years. The most prominent criminal reports on campus were for burglary (six in 2015) and motor vehicle theft (seven in 2013). Other crimes included sexual offense, forced robbery, aggravated assault, arson, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. These crimes have only one to two reports each year. Other disciplinary referrals include drugs/narcotics, weapons and alcohol.

Even though in past years the reports for crimes, such as aggravated assault and stalking, were only one or two times a year, this year there have already been incidents reported. These had three or four reported a year.

Since school started there have been at least three separate occasions of stalking reported to Campus Security. In two instances, police suspected a man driving a gold Camry to be approaching and harassing female joggers on the outskirts of BC. In another separate instance, a female employee leaving campus in the afternoon stated that male in an older truck followed her from campus to multiple sites and continued to stalk through the aisles of a grocery store.

BCDPS encourages students to stay aware of their surroundings and take responsibility for their security and safety. BC partners with the Clery Center for Security on Campus to participate in the National Campus Safety Awareness Campaign.

Additionally, the college is currently modifying the campus training program for new students and new employees to promote prevention and awareness of rape, acquaintance rape, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Students and faculty now have the opportunity to receive free Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) training on campus. The RAD System is a comprehensive, women-only course that begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing on to the basics of hands-on defense training.

Along with providing courses to promote safety, security also provides tips for promoting safety on campus.

The overall theme security pushes for is common sense and basic precautions. They advise remaining alert at all times of your surroundings and staying in groups, especially if you’re on campus late. Take extra steps to protect yourself at all times and if at any point you feel uneasy or unsafe, do not hesitate to call security or 911. In parking lots, be prepared with your keys already to unlock your car and lock the doors as soon as you enter the vehicle.

According to BCDPS, “One of the most critical roles is being an active bystander, individuals who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. These individuals are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it. The College promotes a culture of community accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence without causing further harm.”

They also urge students to report any suspicious behavior or crime no matter how minor it may seem. A basic guideline is “if you see something, say something.”

These security precautions and programs are focused greatly toward woman and their personal protection. However, it is not only woman who need to protect themselves. Even male students should remain aware of their surroundings and attempt to avoid dangerous situations.

On Oct. 10, security released a report of an incident in the Financial Aid Office area where several African American males chased a Hispanic male and challenged him to fight. According to the report, “One male produced a small screwdriver and held it in his right hand. Staff immediately called Public Safety who responded immediately.”

The total number of reported incidents for aggravated assault and stalking for previous years has only been one or two reports a year with no unfounded reports. An unfounded report is an incident the college has withheld from the crime statistics section when they were deemed unfounded by the Bakersfield Police Department.