Numbers released by Ohio State show increase in reported rapes, robberies on campus

File Photo - Ohio State University (AP Photo/Angie Wang)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — How safe are students on campus? Two types of crime have taken a jump in the last year at The Ohio State University.

“Those things definitely cross my mind as I walk around campus. I'm new here, and I'm not really sure what's going on,” said Chantel Brown.

A freshman from Cleveland, Brown is new to college and Columbus. She learned quickly how easy it is to become a crime victim.

“I actually have had some stuff stolen from me since I've been here, in the first month,” Brown said.

New crime numbers from Ohio State's campus show rapes have significantly increased. There were 93 reported rapes in 2018 compared to 72 in 2017.

“What Ohio State is doing is to let people know is that we have resources. We want them to report these issues so we can connect them to resources,” said Dan Hedman, director of Marketing and Communications for Ohio State.

OSU has released these numbers because of the Clery Act, which forces universities to count up all incidents that happened on campus and make that information public.

“You never want to see crime go up. One of the things we hope is through sharing this information, people become more and more aware, more and more vigilant and aware of their surroundings and more likely to report,” Hedman said.

Burglaries on-campus almost doubled in the last year, with the biggest increase in academic and recreational buildings and non-dorm buildings. Students say both students and the university can do a better job protecting students.

“I think the university is aware and secure about what's going on. I did see the email they sent about the consensus and stuff like that. But I also think it's the students responsibility to be aware of their surroundings,” said Cecilia Walters, a freshman at OSU.

“I haven't gotten the feeling that something on-campus would happen without me knowing,” said Leonte Cooper, a junior at OSU.

Some crimes did go down on campus. In 2017 there were 10 reported hate crimes. In 2018, that was down to three.