School Crime Rates Stable, Reports BJS

Washington – Violent and property crime rates at the nation’s schools during 2005 – 57 such crimes per 1,000 students age 12 or older – were statistically unchanged from the 2004 rate of 55 victimizations per 1,000 students, according to a new report by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) and the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics. The crimes measured are rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, simple assault and theft.

During 2005, older students (ages 15 to 18) were less likely than younger students (ages 12 to 14) to be victims of crime at school, but older students were more likely than younger students to be victims of crime away from school.

From July 1, 2005, through June 30, 2006, there were 14 school-associated homicides involving school-aged children. Other BJS data show that youths are over 50 times more likely to be murdered away from school than at school.

The rates for other serious violent victimizations were lower at school than away from school for every survey year from 1992 through 2005. Serious violent victimizations include rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault.

In 2005 nearly all (99 percent) students ages 12 to 18 observed at least one of selected security measures at their school. The percentage of students who observed the use of security cameras at their school increased from 39 percent in 2001 to 58 percent in 2005.

During 2005 an estimated 90 percent of students reported observing school staff or other adult supervision in the hallway, and 68 percent of students reported the presence of security guards and/or assigned police officers at their school.

Fewer students are avoiding places in school because of fear for their safety. Between 1995 and 2005 the percentage of students who reported avoiding one or more places in school declined from 9 percent to four percent.

Among students in grades 9 through 12 an estimated 43 percent reported drinking alcohol anywhere and four percent reported drinking at school during the 30 days prior to the 2005 survey. There were no detectable differences in percentages across grade levels in the likelihood of drinking on school property, but students in higher grades were more likely than students in lower grades to report drinking alcohol anywhere. In 2005, 25 percent of students reported that someone had offered, sold, or given them illegal drugs on school property in the 12 months prior to the survey.

Between 1993 and 2005, the percentage of students in grades 9 through 12 who reported carrying a weapon to school in the preceding 30 days declined from 12 percent to six percent. In 2005, 24 percent of students reported that there were gangs at their schools compared to 21 percent of students in 2003.

Twenty-eight percent of students ages 12 to 18 reported being bullied at school during the last 6 months. Of those students who reported being bullied, 24 percent reported that they had sustained an injury as a result of the incident.

The report “Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2007” (NCJ-219553) was written by BJS statistician Wendy Lin-Kelly; Rachel Dinkes, of the Education Statistics Services Institute in the American Institutes for Research; Emily Forrest Cataldi, of MPR Associates, Inc.; and Thomas D. Snyder, Project Officer of the National Center of Education Statistics. The report can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/iscs07.htm.

For additional information about the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ reports and programs, visit the BJS website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs.

____________________________________________________________________________________

BJS Dec. 2 press release

If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo