Four California universities have been accused of sending inaccurate or incomplete crime statistics the federal law required, including Santa Clara University and Sonoma State University, an investigation revealed on Thursday.
The University of California, Irvine, and San Joaquin Delta College were the other two universities included. An official audit found the four establishments had varying degrees of inaccurate or incomplete data submissions.
Inadequate Crime Reports
Sonoma State did not report a sexual assault incident in 2019 when it did not follow up with police officers to determine the exact location of the crime. This is despite the school knowing it was conducted on school property, the report said. Allegedly, the suspect attacked the victim in a dorm room.
In the report, State Auditor Elaine Howle said “this incident is especially troubling” due to the fact the determination it was not included in the crime statistics meant Sonoma did not consider issuing a timely warning to its campus.
The audit found Santa Clara and Sonoma did not provide accurate daily crime logs, which is considered to be a critical way of informing the public of each campus’s safety. The process is also required by the state’s Clery Act, CBS Local reported.
Howle said the public was not being made aware of the safety of the campus due to the inaccuracies and incompleteness of the data given by the schools. She urged educational institutions to take proper steps to comply with federal law. In response, Sonoma said it was making revisions to improve its crime statistics.