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Audit Finds Colleges Not Reporting Crimes, Parents Claim Students at Risk

Posted on in Personal Injury

San Jose premises liability attorneys, reporting crimes, premises liability claim, college campus crime, stalking casesCrime can happen anywhere. However, to cut down on the risks, most of us try to be conscious of places where we might be vulnerable and areas where previous violent assaults, sexual attacks, and other crimes have occurred. When property owners fail to warn visitors of dangers or to take the actions needed to prevent crimes, they may be held liable for the damages suffered through a premises liability claim.

A recent situation in our area and throughout the state highlights the problems that can arise when companies and organizations fail to disclose criminal activity. A state audit found that college campus crime is often underreported by administrators and school officials. Parents claim that when students are unaware of the situation, it increases their risks of being victimized.

Campus Crime Underreported In California

According to a May 2018 report by Campus Safety Magazine, a recent audit indicates that several colleges in the Bay area have failed to comply with regulations requiring them to disclose criminal incidents that occur on campus. The report claims schools listed inaccurate statistics and failed to make parents and students aware of on campus programs to address violence and crimes against women. Among those named include Berkeley City College and San Jose State.

In making assessments, the state auditor relies on incident reports and interviews with staffers to determine how accurately crimes are being reported. This latest assessment found errors occurred in roughly 20 percent of all cases. These range from incorrectly classifying certain types of crimes to failing to report them at all. The audit claims that in addition to being a violation of federal reporting standards, these types of errors put both staff members and students at risk by failing to alert them to the dangers.

Berkeley City College was named specifically for failing to report a string of rape and stalking cases which occurred in 2016. Under the Clery Act, schools are required to provide transparency concerning campus crime policies and in disclosing statistics that administrators would otherwise prefer to keep quiet, for fear of giving their campus a bad name and discouraging other students from attending. The Act is named after 19-year-old Jeanne Clery, who was raped and murdered at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania in 1995. In the aftermath, her parents blamed Lehigh for failing to warn her and other students of similar crimes that occurred throughout the campus community.

Contact Our Office Today for Help

When property owners fail in their duty to alert residents or visitors of criminal activity that could put them at risk, they may be liable for damages when a violent crime does occur. If you or a loved one has been impacted by college crime, reach out and contact Jachimowicz Law Group. We can arrange a consultation with our passionate San Jose premises liability attorneys to discuss your case and how we can help you hold responsible parties accountable.

Sources:

https://www.campussafetymagazine.com/clery/calif-state-audit-clery-crimes/

https://clerycenter.org/policy-resources/the-clery-act/

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