Report: Crime rate drops slightly on Tenn. college campuses

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Crime on the Tennessee's college campuses decreased last year, according to a state report.

A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report found a 1.4 percent drop overall in the number of reported campus crimes.

College campuses, for example, saw a 31.5 percent decrease in auto thefts and a 10.5 percent decline in drug crimes in 2006.

The report found, however, increases in the number of reported rapes and robberies.

There were 21 reported rapes in 2006 versus 16 in 2005 for a total increase of 31.3 percent.

Robbery shot up by 45.2 percent with 31 offenses reported in 2005 compared to 45 in 2006. Theft offenses continue to comprise the largest percentage of crimes reported with 34.8 percent last year.

In 2005, theft comprised 34.3 percent of the reported offenses. "Altogether there were 8,425 reported crimes, and only 158 were considered violent crimes," TBI spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson said.

"We think that is a positive." There were 8,541 crimes reported in 2005, a decrease of 2.3 percent from 2004, when there were 8,744 offenses reported.

Between 2003 and 2004, the number of offenses reported increased 6.7 percent. Johnson said the campus crime report is required by Tennessee law and uses crime statistics provided by law enforcement agencies and college safety and security offices.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)