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Alcohol Arrests, Summonses Nearly Doubled in 2011

Annual BUPD crime report lists hate crimes for first time

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Arrests and summonses for liquor law violations on the Charles River Campus nearly doubled, to 102, last year from the previous year, according to the University’s annual crime report.

Meanwhile, hate crimes—which for the first time were required to be broken out from the other statistics—totaled four, all involving intimidation (three based on race, one on sexual orientation). “That’s disturbing,” says Scott Paré, deputy director of public safety and BU Police Department deputy chief.

Reported sexual assaults in 2011 crept up by one, to nine, according to the report, which is mandated by the federal Clery law. The report shows 13 armed robberies in 2011, up from 8 the previous year.

The spike in alcohol-related stats came as no surprise, given the beefed-up enforcement begun last year by the University, Boston, and Brookline police departments. “We have increased our alcohol patrols by quite a bit on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights,” Paré says.

While law enforcement actions rose last year, the number of students referred for University discipline for violations of BU’s alcohol rules (as opposed to the law) actually dropped from 620 in 2010 to 520 in 2011. There are several reasons for the difference. The arrests-and-summonses figures include those for people unaffiliated with the University and therefore not subject to discipline by BU.

Also, the federal reporting requirement doesn’t apply to off-campus crimes in buildings or locales that aren’t owned by BU or adjacent to University facilities. So students busted by police off-campus who face University discipline won’t show up in the BUPD report’s arrests-and-summonses figures, says Dean of Students Kenneth Elmore (SED’87).

Map showing area of Boston University BU Charles River campus covered by Boston University Police Department BUPD

Click on the map above to enlarge the geographic area of the Charles River Campus covered by the BUPD annual crime report.

University officials have stressed that drunkenness can make a person more vulnerable to assault, including sexual—“You can’t give consent very well while you’re under the influence,” Paré says—and sexual assault has “always been an underreported crime.” Last year’s documented attacks came during a period of heightened attention to the issue at BU, in large measure because of criminal cases against two hockey players (one of whom pleaded guilty, while charges against the other were dropped). A University task force reported last month on “a culture of sexual entitlement” among hockey players, a finding that led to management changes, sexual assault prevention education, and other reforms.

Sexual assaults aren’t the only instance in which the stats low-ball actual crime numbers. Because off-campus crimes aren’t included in the BUPD report’s numbers, next year’s report for 2012 will not include either the murder last April of Kanagala Seshadri Rao (GSM’13) or this semester’s spree of armed robberies of BU students and an alum near the Charles River Campus.

Moreover, even though larceny is “the number one crime on campus,” given the number of laptops, cell phones, handheld devices, and bicycles that are stolen annually, Paré says, reporting that crime is not required by the feds. (Larcenies that are hate crimes are required to be reported, however; BU had none last year.) According to BUPD Officer Peter Shin, larcenies rose to 398 last year, from 327 in 2010. Shin also keeps statistics on cases of breaking and entering, which fell from 81 in 2010 to 64 in 2011.

Map showing area of Boston University School of Medicine BUSM campus covered by Boston University Police Department BUPD

Click on the map above to enlarge the geographic area of the Medical Campus covered by the BUPD annual crime report.

The mandated report also covers the Medical Campus, which last year saw one aggravated assault (versus two in 2010), two burglaries (three in 2010), and one robbery (none in 2010).

Next year’s report may contain better news regarding alcohol violations. So far during this current academic year, alcohol-related hospital transports for students are down 35 percent, and alcohol-related arrests and citations down 86 percent, from the same period last year, according to the BUPD. Paré speculates that the drop may reflect student awareness of the new, tougher enforcement after last year’s run-up in busts.

“Maybe the word is out,” he says: “‘You’ll get grabbed’” for liquor violations.

There’s also good news in another set of statistics from the BUPD, separate from the Clery report (covering off-campus crimes, for example, unlike Clery): the first 10 months of 2012 have seen a 29 percent drop in crime compared to the same period last year.

11 Comments
Rich Barlow

Rich Barlow can be reached at barlowr@bu.edu.

11 Comments on Alcohol Arrests, Summonses Nearly Doubled in 2011

  • Paul on 10.24.2012 at 5:27 am

    I love how BU has increased arrests for alcohol and they are proud of their enforcement of consumption laws yet it takes 4 armed robberies for them to get their act together when it pertains to real crime. BUPD should not be proud of anything right now. Maybe if they diverted a portion of all the alcohol bust patrols to protecting our students in South Campus and West Campus, maybe our campus would be actually safer.

  • Jeff Lambe on 10.24.2012 at 8:31 am

    I think that the primary focus should be on violent crimes and liquor violations should be a secondary concern.

    As for the addition of hate crimes, I believe that *all* crimes committed against others are hate crimes. The specific motivations are not important, as they all exhibit contemptuous disregard for others.

  • Dylan on 10.24.2012 at 10:17 am

    Wow as a student here nothing disappoints me more then this. The BU police department, who only caught the robbers because they turned themselves in or were snitched out is priding themselves on how many kids they arrested for alcohol violations in the past year. Congrats on breaking up harmless parties off campus, while in the meantime nearly every major crime category saw an increase. Seems like they are really using our tuition to stop some real crimes, what a joke.

  • L on 10.24.2012 at 10:18 am

    There are many posts criticizing the monitoring of parties and underage drinking. However – I have not seen anyone comment on the impact of such behavior on neighbors. Many of the neighborhoods surrounding the campus are occupied by professionals, families, or retired people. They live here long-term, not just for a semester or a year. Therefore – they hear EVERY party that takes place – not just the few thrown each semester. You can bet the neighbors are happy to be able to sleep, and not have to listen to drunken screaming at 2:00 in the morning. If students want to be treated like grown ups in their off campus housing, then act like grown ups and respect the rights of others in the neighborhood. Until that happens – thank God BUPD has some sense of responsibility in controlling the mayhem.

  • Durden Tyler on 10.24.2012 at 10:54 am

    Yes, please take pride in your work. Considering how easy it is to break up a party as opposed to let’s say catch real criminals. Bravo!

  • Orly? on 10.24.2012 at 10:56 am

    This week, on Paul & Dylan learn to read:

    “Because off-campus crimes aren’t included in the BUPD report’s numbers, next year’s report for 2012 will not include either the murder last April of Kanagala Seshadri Rao (GSM’13) or this semester’s spree of armed robberies of BU students and an alum near the Charles River Campus.”

    off-campus

    off-campus

    off-campus

    Why don’t you use your tuition money to take some reading comprehension courses, instead of studying how to be snarky and wrong on the internet?

  • R on 10.24.2012 at 11:18 am

    I was very taken aback by the graf stressing “that drunkenness can make a person more vulnerable to assault, including sexual.” From a news outlet that generally handled coverage of last year’s high-profile sexual assault cases with honesty and sensitivity, I was shocked to see such implied victim-blaming. Yes, Pare is correct, you cannot legally give consent if you’re intoxicated– but the way this article frames his quote puts the onus not on the assaulter, but on the assaultee, and that’s very far from okay.

  • Broseph on 10.24.2012 at 11:56 am

    I’d say it’s time to repeal this neolithic age-restriction on alcohol consumption. If an eighteen-year-old is considered old enough to vote or die for his/her country,then he/she should be allowed to get a freaking drink.

  • H on 10.24.2012 at 1:10 pm

    “You can’t give consent very well while you’re under the influence,” Paré says

    No wonder we have a culture of accepting rape and sexual assault and blaming the victim if the Deputy Director of Public Safety doesn’t even know consent laws. You CAN NOT give consent if you are intoxicated or anything other than sober. Disgusting.

  • Anonymous on 10.24.2012 at 1:30 pm

    Good work, BUPD! I’m going to celebrate with a drink.

  • Rhett James on 10.27.2012 at 5:51 pm

    Idea: Go to BU Police Station, read crime log, find out what REALLY happens around BU and what BUPD ACTUALLY does/ arrests made. Idea: Stop chirping BUPD with useless internet threads that they never read or have opportunity to. Idea: ACTUALLY VOICE questions, comments, concerns with Chief or Deputy in person, email, phone. Write letters to BU admin….affect change positively.

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