Last updated: April 25. 2014 3:23PM - 3464 Views
By - swillets@civitasmedia.com

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PEMBROKE — On-campus arrests at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke nearly quadrupled from 2011 to 2012, according to new data released by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Post-Secondary Education.

In 2011, the school saw 28 on-campus arrests — two for weapons violations, 12 for drug violations and 14 for alcohol-related violations, according to data culled from more than 7,000 institutions. In 2012, seven weapons arrests, 71 drug arrests and 26 alcohol arrests were made. Twenty of those arrests were made in student housing.

School officials say the report doesn’t mean there is more crime.

“(The school’s public safety department officials) feel like they’re being proactive and really enforcing drug violations,” Sandy Briscar, a UNCP spokesperson told The Daily Tar Heel. “They’ve made it a point to not look the other way and to really crack down when they do find out about violations.”

The Robesonian was unable to reach anyone at the university on Friday.

The increase rocketed the school up Rehabs.com’s annual list of on-campus drug arrests from No. 186 to No. 5, making it the highest ranking North Carolina school.

North Carolina institutions occupied many of the list’s top 50 spots.

Appalachian State University came in at No. 15., the University of North Carolina at No. 26. North Carolina Central University at No. 34 and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro at No. 44. The State University of New York at Oneonta was ranked first.

The data doesn’t necessarily mean that schools like UNCP saw a sudden surge in crime. It could mean officers are being tougher on crime, or are more diligently reporting their arrests.

“We provided better training for our officers so they are more aware of what to look for and how to conduct those types of investigations,” said Travis Bryant, UNCP’s vice chancellor of public safety and emergency operations. Bryant appointment to his position coincided with the increase in arrests.

Referrals for disciplinary action at the school also increased.

In 2012, 18 students were cited for weapons violations, 165 for drugs and 93 for drinking — nearly double the total from 2011, when 78 students were cited for drugs and 73 for drinking. No one was disciplined for possessing a weapon that year, according to the report. About half of the 2012 citations were written in student housing.

Meanwhile, criminal offenses on campus are mostly down. One robbery was reported in 2012, compared with three in 2011. Burglaries decreased from 29 in 2010, to 14 in 2011, to 10 in 2012.

The only on-campus offense to rise was forcible sexual assault, up from one in 2011 to three that all occurred in student housing.

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