Campus Police from all three campuses have released their annual reports for 2015. Compared to 2014, crime occurrences have dropped 20–30 per cent at UTM and UTSC; numbers remain steady at UTSG.
Property crime, which makes up the majority of reported crimes, has largely decreased. Sexual assault reports remain low: two at UTSG and one at UTSC.
The statistics do not reflect theft that was not reported or reported to other authorities.
Decline in reports of property crime
At UTSG, property crime accounts for approximately 85 per cent of reported crimes. The biggest contributor is theft of student property worth less than $5,000. This accounts for about half of reported property crimes and has minimal change in frequency since the 2014 report. Damage to university property is the second most reported property crime.
Property crime is also the most reported crime at UTM and UTSC, although their annual reports show significant decreases from 2014. At UTM specifically, there was a 30.25 per cent decrease in reports of theft under $5,000, which contributed to an overall drop in crime by 30.41 per cent. Instances of mischief or damage to property remained mostly unchanged at the campuses.
The reports do not show how many of these crimes are resolved. UTSG is the only campus to release the number of arrests made in the annual report; details of recovered property is not included.
The reports also emphasize crime prevention with a focus on policies like the ‘Stop Campus Theft’ campaign.
Community policing model
When asked about the disparity between campuses, Althea Blackburn-Evans, Director of News & Media Relations, stressed that crime occurrences at UTSG are relatively low compared to the population. She added that the location within downtown Toronto places it in a unique context.
UTM has also hired a patrolling team recently, which means the addition of “six new building patrollers and two new constables” to ensure an increased “presence of campus police officers,” according to Blackburn-Evans.
UTSC implemented two strategies that have proved to be successful: the officers are actively taking part in the community by hosting events like pancake breakfasts and movie nights; and the campus created a more extensive awareness campaign at the library, in the hopes of preventing theft.
Multiple theft rings have successfully been shut down at UTSC and UTSG. These rings were targeting libraries and bikes.
Althea Blackburn-Evans also told The Varsity that campus police will be “very focused on awareness, mostly among students and mostly in library settings.” Their aim is to reinforce the safety of the students and the presence of the campus police, Blackburn-Evans said.