Crimes at USC rise in 2015, though still lower than other Pac-12 schools

USC experienced a rise in crime over the past year, according to the Department of Public Safety’s Annual Safety Report, although it still experienced fewer total crimes than other comporable California universities, such as  Stanford University, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of California, Berkeley.

While all four universities had zero cases of reported murder and non-negligent manslaughter, they vary considerably in regards to other crime categories.

Sex offenses at USC increased from 31 reported incidents in 2014 to 41 in 2015.

Twelve of the reported sex offenses in 2015 were committed by the same individual, who groped female students’ backsides as they passed by, which increased the “fondling” category by 12 counts.

Sex offenses at UCLA decreased from 39 to 38, while those at Stanford increased from 30 to 39 and those at Berkeley decreased from 64 to 58.

Robberies at USC, including motor vehicle theft and burglary, increased from 47 reported incidents to 59, while they decreased from 129 to 100 in UCLA, increased from 79 to 93 in Stanford and decreased from 189 to 130 in Berkeley.

Again, Berkeley has the most cases of reported robberies, among the four universities, while USC appears to have the least instances of such reports.

The arrests following possession of illegal substances and arms, including liquor, drugs and weapons, increased at USC from 31 to 43, decreased from 80 to 49 at UCLA, increased from 47 to 102 at Stanford and decreased from 346 to 327 at Berkeley.

Hate crimes at USC went up from one reported incident to two. In 2014, the one incident was of vandalism with a bias of religion, while the 2015 incidents were reports of bias of nationality.

UCLA experienced a rise in hate crimes, with reported incidents increasing from two to five.

Hate crimes at Stanford decreased from three reported incidents to two. Berkeley’s hate crimes decreased from nine instances of robbery, vandalism, and assault with a bias of race, religion, nationality, and sexual orientation to two instances of battery, with a bias of religion.

Overall, USC had the least crimes among the compared universities in 2014 and 2015, with 141 and 161 instances of crime, respectively. UCLA had 275 in 2014 and 207 in 2015. In both years, Berkeley had the most crimes — 669 and 579, respectively.  However, it also experienced the biggest decline in crime, while Stanford experienced the largest rise in crime, from 166 to 221.

Even though crimes at USC increased from 141 to 161 in 2015, the University has regularly updated security measures since 2012, when a gang-involved shooting on Halloween wounded four people. Shortly afterward, a secure campus perimeter was created from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m.