NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — An annual report released by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this week showing crime data across college and university campuses in the state indicates a decrease in most reported crime and drug violations while theft continues to be the most-reported crime.
The TBI says the report compiles data submitted to its agency through the state’s Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System or TIBRS. The “Crime on Campus” report was enacted by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1989.
“This report will hopefully assist law enforcement, institution administrators, and government officials in planning their efforts to fight crime and continue to create an awareness that crime exists as a threat in our communities,” said TBI Director David Rausch. “The threats to society by criminal activity must be addressed by efforts from all law-abiding citizens, as well as law enforcement agencies.”
The report shows crime reported by Tennessee colleges and universities decreased 4% from 2020-21 and decreased 32.5% overall since 2018:
- 3,675 offenses reported in 2021
- 3,827 offenses reported in 2020
- 5,686 offenses reported in 2019
- 5,446 offenses reported in 2018
Theft and larceny offenses accounted for 28.5% of reported crime; with “theft from a building” being the most common sub-type of theft offense, according to the report.
“Even with larceny and thefts accounting for such a large percentage of reported crimes on campus, the numbers show a largely downward trend,” the report states. “With such offenses having dropped 32.4% since 2018. There is, however, a slight increase of 4.8% of reported thefts between 2020 and 2021.”
Reported drug and narcotics offenses decreased 14.7% between 2020 and 2021; drug/narcotic equipment offenses dropped 27.1% while drug/narcotic violations fell 6.4%. Reported liquor law violations were also down 19.8%; however, reports of drunkenness rose 40%.
Reported assaults saw an increase of 18.7%, according to the report; aggravated assault rose the most sharply at an 89.7% increase.
Apart from the reported crime data numbers, the report also covers some demographics of victims and offenders. The demographic data shows the majority of the victims in reported campus crimes were white (65.9%) and female (over 50%); the offenders were male (71.1%). Among offenders with a known race, the report indicates the races of white and Black/African-American were reported at relatively equal levels – or 48.6% and 49.2% respectively.
As for victim to offender or VO relationships reported in 2021 among Tennessee higher education campuses, the report states of those relationship types reported, the most common was “Acquaintance” at 46.5%, followed by “Intimate VO” relationships at 14.9%. Unknown VO relationships were 22.5%.
By location, apart from “school/college/university campus,” the number of reported offenses occurred in parking lots or parking garages, residences/homes or in highway/road/alleys.
The full report can be found online at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s publications page.