BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A report by the LSU Police Department shows reported sex offenses spiked last year.
Visit LSU any time of day and you are sure to find students scurrying across campus. College life can be overwhelming. While they are focused on their next class assignment or main event, crime prevention has also become part of their daily routines.
"I lock up any chance I get. I haven't had any issues, but I've heard of people getting things stolen. I don't want to be naïve so I protect myself and watch my back," Blake Meyers said.
LSU Police Captain Cory Lalonde said it is a smart idea.
According to annual crime statistics released by LSU Police, there were 51 reported burglaries on campus last year. That is up from 49 in 2012 and 47 in 2011.
"We can only report in the report the number of incidents that are reported to us here on campus," Lalonde explained.
But the figure that has everyone talking is the number of forcible sex offenses on campus. It shows there were ten reported sex offenses in 2013. That is compared to three in 2012 and two in 2011.
Student Laila Perry said the university does a good job of notifying students, but the numbers are chilling.
"That's a lot. It's scary. I do get the emails and text messages all the time and it's just really scary," Laila Perry said.
The director for the University Women's Center Summer Steib said the new numbers reveal a problem at LSU that is facing universities across the country.
"What they say is that under reporting is still an issue at LSU, but I am encouraged to see that we more than tripled the number of women who did report to the police. To me that's a positive indicator that women on campus are feeling more comfortable going to the police and they are aware of resources available to them," Steib said.
Captain Lalonde said anonymous reporting on the police department's website, the 2012 "See Something Say Something" campaign, and the new Shield smart phone app has made it more convenient and comfortable for students to report crimes on campus.
He said the numbers in the report are proof something is working.
"If they don't report to us or the Student Health Center or a family friend or someone they trust, those doors to those resources cannot open," Lalonde explained.
to view the LSU Police Annual Security and Fire Report.