CCU, FMU release 2020 campus crime statistics

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) – There were 19 acts of violence on campus at Coastal Carolina University last year, and four at Francis Marion University, according to recently released data from the universities. 

Secondary education institutions are required to post campus safety reports by Oct. 1 each year under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Police and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998. The reports detail crimes that occur on campus, in residence halls and on nearby, off-campus property.

CCU in Conway, with 9,800 undergraduate and graduate students, 3,800 students living in on-campus housing and 1,000 employees, had three reports of stalking, three reports of dating violence, one report of domestic violence, two reported motor vehicle thefts, seven burglaries, one aggravated assault and 14 reported forcible sex offenses included in its 2020 documents.

A list of reported on-campus crimes is listed below.

“Education, the business of Coastal Carolina University, can take place only in an environment in which each student and employee feels safe and security,” the report reads. “Coastal Carolina University recognizes this and employs safety measures to protect the members of its community. Although the area, with its small-town feel and neighborly attitude, is perceived to have a relatively low crime rate, no campus is totally isolated from crime. Consequently, crime prevention remains a high priority.”

The university offers preventative and response programming on safety and crime topics, along with awareness efforts. Incoming students and employees are also educated on university policies about sexual assault, sexual violence, harassment, stalking and violence, among other topics. 

“Coastal Carolina University is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our community and guests and does its part to ensure the safety of everyone,” a statement from the university reads. “All members of the campus community share in the responsibility of making the campus a safe place to study, work, and live.”

Prevention is a high priority, according to the statement, and the university uses police, awareness and prevention education, anonymous reporting and emergency notifications as parts of its efforts. 

FMU, which offers similar measures, had one aggravated assault, one burglary and three instances of dating violence reported to the university last year, according to its annual report. The university has 4,148 students, 1,163 occupied on-campus student housing units and about 610 employees. 

A list of reported on-campus crimes is listed below.

“Safety on the University campus is a natural source of concern for parents, students, and University employees,” the report reads. “Education – the business of Francis Marion University (FMU) can take place only in an environment in which people feel safe and secure. FMU recognizes this and utilizes a number of security measures to protect community members. The campus, with its small-town feel and neighborly attitude, is perceived to have a relatively low crime rate. However, because no campus is totally isolated from crime, crime prevention remains a high priority. FMU is committed to providing a safe and secure environment for our community and guests and does its part to ensure the safety of everyone. All members of our campus community share in the responsibility of making our campus a safe place to study, work, and live.”

A statement from FMU reiterates that commitment.

“We are fortunate to have a fine cadre of officers and support staff at the FMU Campus Police Department,” the statement reads. “FMU also enjoys a close working relationship with other law enforcement agencies, especially the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the City of Florence Police Department. We are grateful for those important partnerships, especially in regards to ensuring the safety of our campus in downtown Florence and other facilities around Florence County.”

The university increased the salaries of officers earlier this year, according to the statement. Campus police have also made improvements to cameras, lighting and other security measures.

“We feel these measures have been effective, which resulted in FMU being named the safest college in South Carolina in a study by Homesnacks.net, a leading online researcher and ranker of American demographics,” the statement reads.

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