Rape and dating violence at UTEP have increased

Rene Delgadillo, Multimedia Editor

According to the new Annual Security and Fire Safety Report—an annual report from UTEP campus police—there were five incidents of rape in 2016.

Three of the incidents occurred on-campus, while the remaining two occurred in student housing facilities.

This is an increase from 2015, when only one case of rape was reported to the university.

There were two cases of fondling, which according to the report is “the touching of the private body parts of another person for the purpose of sexual gratification, without the consent of the victim.”

Also, five incidents of aggravated assault were reported to UTEP Police, representing a 50 percent decrease from 2015.

UTEP Police Chief Cliff Walsh said the university encourages all students to report any crime or situation in which they feel their safety may be at risk.

“The changes may reflect the confidence people have in the university and the UTEP Police Department to investigate situations thoroughly and with sensitivity,” Walsh said. “Changes in Clery Report data from year to year are not unusual and do not reflect an identified trend or pattern.”

UTEP’s most recurrent criminal offense continues to be incidents of burglaries, which is the unlawful entry of a structure to commit a felony or a theft. According to the report, UTEP received 26 reports of burglaries. 15 of those reports occurred in student housing facilities.

Dating violence increased from three incidents in 2015 to five in 2016.

Cases of stalking remained the same they did in 2015, with 11 incidents reported to UTEP Police.

Four motor vehicle thefts occurred in 2016, an increase from 2015.

Arrests for drug abuse violations are on the rise. Throughout 2015 the number of arrests was 12, but increased to 29 cases in 2016.

Despite the data reported, Walsh said UTEP is still a safe campus.

“UTEP is a safe campus, as validated by a recent review by the National Council for Home Safety and Security of more than 2,000 four-year colleges and universities. It ranked UTEP No. 31 on the ‘Safest Colleges in America 2017’ list,” Walsh said.

For more information, view the full report here, or contact UTEP Police at 747-5611 or by e-mail at [email protected]