WVU crime report

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As students returned to West Virginia University last year, university police saw an increase in reported crimes.

West Virginia University released its annual Clery Report detailing reported crimes and other incidents. The 85-page document details crimes reported to campus authorities at the institution’s Morgantown campus and its Health Sciences offices in Charleston and Martinsburg.

According to the report, authorities saw more incidents of rape, fondling, robbery, aggravated assault, motor vehicle theft and domestic violence, and violations of liquor and drug abuse laws in 2021 compared to 2020, when students participated in remote instruction because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The report noted no reported crimes in the Charleston and Martinsburg offices.

“This comes as no surprise given how few people were on campus in 2020,” University Police Chief Sherry St. Clair said in a release. “What we’re dealing with now are the continuing aftereffects of the pandemic, but we have seen positive results from increased campus educational efforts and community safety initiatives.”

The university’s efforts to address possible crime include employing Campus Safety Officers and additional security cameras. The institution will launch a new sexual assault awareness and prevention campaign in October in partnership with other bodies.