Domestic violence reports rise, aggravated assaults drop at SIU

A new report released earlier this month from Southern Illinois University Carbondale may change the way you feel about your student’s safety on campus. With a drop in certain crimes while others stay steady, campus police say they’re encouraged by what they’re seeing.   

Most students on campus Monday are enjoying fall break, trading the classroom for a walk around Campus Lake. But Sgt. Chad Beights with the SIU Department of Public Safety is focused on last year. Beights says what they’re seeing with the recently released 2015 campus security report looks good for SIU.

"Robberies were down, aggravated assaults were down, so overall our numbers were very comparable to last year," Beights said.

Reports of domestic violence and forcible fondling are up in 2015 over 2014, while the number of sexual assaults has stayed the same at 13 reported cases. Beights says he believes that’s partly because of the work they and the school are doing to increase awareness and reporting.

"Some of it is the education that we’re doing as a department, as well as the university," he said. Beights said the one area they’re seeing a spike in is liquor law violations, with more on-campus arrests. But, he says he believes the campus is safe and the numbers show it.

"For us, the way the numbers stayed steady is positive. And now, we work to just decrease those numbers as we go forward," Beights said.

The Department of Public Safety analyzes each year’s crime and safety statistics from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. The DPS is currently comparing the 2015 numbers released to other area schools. They say so far their data appears to be in line with what other schools are seeing.

If you want to check out the 2015 SIU crime and safety report, click here

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