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Duke Releases Annual Clery Security Report

Duke Releases Annual Clery Security Report

Most reported offenses decrease from 2009 to 2010

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duke police officer hands out cookies and pens during event
Lt. Shannan Tiffin discusses safety tips and hands out a cookie and Duke Police highlighter to first-year students. Tiffin was among DUPD officers taking part in the first "Tips n' Treats" sessions last year.

Durham, NC - The annual crime report for Duke shows slight decreases in most reported offenses from 2009 to 2010, but university officials continue to urge students, faculty and staff to partner with police to help deter crime.

The Annual Campus Security Report, released Wednesday by the university, shows decreases in reports of forcible sex offenses and robbery, among other offenses tracked for the report. The report includes reported incidents by Duke community members and the public in the academic and health system campuses, as well as satellite facilities and Duke Forest.

"For as large as Duke is and with the number of people and the amount of activity we have on campus and the health system, these statistics really point to the fact that Duke is a safe place," said John Dailey, chief of the Duke University Police Department. "We depend on our community to take actions to reduce the possibility of crime and to continue to report suspicious behaviors and concerns to us so we can work together to maintain this level of safety."

The Annual Campus Security Report is mandated by the federal Clery Act, which requires universities to publish an annual report disclosing campus security policies and three years worth of selected crime statistics based upon definitions and parameters supplied under the Clery Act. The report also includes information about Duke's emergency notification and response and evacuation procedures, as well as fire safety information.

While most reported offenses for the report fell, incidents of motor vehicle theft rose from 14 to 15 in 2010. Duke also recorded one offense in the murder/manslaughter category last year: A Duke employee was fatally shot in a domestic-related incident at a Duke clinic on North Duke Street in Durham.

Reported forcible sex offenses are among the incidents with a slight decrease, from 13 to 12 in 2010. The sex offense category represents a range of illegal behavior from inappropriate touching to rape. Dailey said that in 11 of the 12 cases, the suspects and victims were acquaintances; 10 cases involved students and six cases involved inappropriate touching.

In 2009, a new policy for reporting sex offenses was enacted at Duke. The policy says that any university official informed of an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a student is expected to file a report with the Office of Student Conduct.

"Sexual offenses across communities are known to be underreported," Dailey said. "We continue to encourage our community to seek help and resources and to make reports to police, the women's center, the Office of Student Conduct or the Office for Institutional Equity."

Also according to the annual report, the number of robberies fell from seven to three in 2010. All robberies occurred on campus and involved student victims. "Two cases were committed on the same night by the same suspects, and the suspects were arrested close to the scene," Dailey said.

"We want people to continue to use good judgment and common sense to help prevent robberies, which can be crimes of opportunity," he said. "When it's late at night, use Duke transit or Duke Vans and travel with others."

Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration and Duke's emergency coordinator, encouraged community members to review the annual report and Duke's crime prevention suggestions.

"The overall safety of our students, faculty, staff and visitors remains our highest priority," Cavanaugh said. "Although we continue to experience a relatively safe environment, it's incumbent upon each of us to keep safety in the forefront of our thoughts."

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