It’s About Location: Campus Crime Reports Confusing


Virginia’s most prominent college crime last year – the killing of Virginia Commonwealth University freshman Taylor Behl – won’t be listed in VCU’s crime report, says the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. That’s one of the flaws in the federal law regulating reports on campus crime. The U.S. Justice Department said in a December study on campus sexual assaults: “Most schools comply with the requirement to report crime data, but only about a third do so in a way fully consistent with Federal laws.”

Dennis Gregory , an associate professor of education at Old Dominion University, said the reports are confusing both for colleges to compile and students to decipher. They contain figures for sometimes overlapping geographical areas – including “on-campus,” “residence halls” and “public property” – with no totals. ODU also did not include the robbery of a student on a sidewalk on a street with a couple of residence halls less than a block from the main campus because officials judged it not to be “immediately adjacent ” to campus. VCU will not include Behl’s death in its report because it occurred in another county.


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