Campus crime in Oakland saw sharp drop in 2020


Not surprisingly, the number of crimes on the Oakland campus dropped by half or more in most categories last year, when the majority of students, faculty and staff were at home for five months or more because of the pandemic

The 2020 statistics were released last week as part of the annual Security and Fire Safety Report from Pitt’s Public Safety and Emergency Management department. Pitt reports campus crime statistics as part of the federal Clery Act, which requires all colleges and universities that participate in federal financial aid programs to keep and disclose information about crime on and near their respective campuses.

The numbers include incidents reported to the Pitt Police Department, the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, UPMC security, and University personnel who have significant responsibility for student life and campus activities. The charts prepared by Pitt also show the number of incidents in the previous two years.

The category with the most incidents each year is Disciplinary Referrals for Liquor Law Violations. The number dropped from 326 in 2019 to 165 in 2020.

Here are some other notable statistics:

Rape: 11 in 2019 / 1 in 2020

Burglary: 14 in 2019 / 5 in 2020

Arrests for liquor law violations: 38 in 2019 / 18 in 2020

Arrests for drug law violations: 10 in 2019 / 14 in 2020

Disciplinary referrals for drug law violations: 58 in 2019 / 36 in 2020

Stalking: 7 in 2019 / 2 in 2020

Find a chart with all the numbers for 2018 to 2020 here.

Another chart shows the  statistics for offenses reported to the Pitt Police Department only as recorded for the Uniform Crime Report, which are derived, in part, from patrol areas in community areas not adjacent to campus. The report is required by the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting Act. The statistics show a total of 252 offenses in 2020 vs. 386 in 2019. The numbers dropped in every category except vagrancy which jumped from three offenses in 2019 to 16 in 2020.

The University also issues an annual fire statistics report. There were five fires in Pitt-owned or leased buildings in 2020 with a total property damage of $13,050. More than half of that amount was from a September 2020 fire at the Bridge on Forbes apartments caused by an electrical problem on a charging skateboard battery, which caused nearly $9,000 in damage. The other fires included two at Forbes Hall, one at Ruskin Hall and one at the Darragh Street Apartments.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 724-244-4042.


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