While you may feel that a property owner is protecting you from danger (negligent security, inadequate security), it is often the case that property owners put profits over safety, and when that happens dangerous predators seize the opporunity to attack.
The U.S. Dept of Education, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service released an extensive research report in
2010 (“Campus Attacks – Targeted Violence Affecting Institutions of Higher Learning”) that indicated the incidents of college campus violence had drastically increased in the past 20 years.
The Report also states that students represented 45% of the attackers, with others being identified as former students, current or former college employees, or others with some type of affiliation with the schools. Many assailants, especially rapists, simply find colleges and nearby related areas as stalking and hunting grounds, places where suitable victims can easily be found. One-in-five women who attend college will be the victim of a sexual assault during her four years on campus. Some attackers may be under the use of drug and alcohol. Attackers often use firearms, knives, blunt instruments, poison and other weapons to threaten, injure and even kill their victims.
According to Readers Digest (2008) of this country's 6000 colleges and universities there are 40,000 burglaries, 3,700 forcible sex offenses, 7,000 aggravated assaults and 48 murders reported a year.
Well-Known Cases of Violent Crime on College & High School Campuses
College and university violent crime and security issues, like above, forced many schools to take a hard look at their safety procedures and policies. Some schools began to lock doors, install security cameras and to install mass-notification call systems. Colleges and schools also started to require staff and visitors to wear ID badges and improve crime reporting of assaults, rapes, thefts, burglaries, etc.
Many colleges and universities have their own police forces with sworn officers who investigate crimes including burglary, robbery, theft, murder, assault, rape, bullying, hate crimes, arson and more, according to The National Center for Victims of Crime. Depending on the crime and how it is reported, some crimes are investigated on campus and others referred to local prosecutors. Campus police discretion, combined with confidential campus judicial systems and honor committee proceedings, can make it difficult for outside authorities to know how campuses have handled crimes.
The Clery Act was also enacted. The Clery Act requires all colleges and universities that participate in the federal financial aid programs under Title IV of the Higher Education Act to maintain and disclose information about certain crimes committed on or near campuses. The Clery Act defines these crimes as they are defined in the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Handbook (UCR).
Unfortunately even with new reporting methods, many cases of crime go unreported and unprosecuted. If you have been the victim of a university attack, school shooting, campus stabbing or college rape on a high school or college campus, contact our negligent security and premises liability attorneys to discuss your legal rights and to hold the assailant account for the harm they cause.