- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A safety report from the University of New Mexico shows the number of aggravated assault and stalking reports more than doubled on campus last year.

The report released Thursday also revealed a rise in the number of sexual assault reports, but university police said the results may be a little misleading.

Lt. Tim Stump said the findings don’t necessarily mean that there is more crime, but that more people have been encouraged to come forward about crimes.

“We did a big push to have people report, that’s why the numbers are up,” Stump said.

The report found that aggravated assault reports grew to 15, up from six the previous year. Stalking incidents surged to 28 in 2014 from only four in 2013, and the number of sexual assaults increased from 12 to 18.

Reports from residential units and areas near campus also factored into the report. Stump said crime remains relatively low for the population of the university.

“We’re in a big community. There’s 50,000 to 70,000 people here,” he said. “Any administration would look at those numbers and say that’s not a big number, that it is a very safe campus.”

Central New Mexico Community College also released its safety report Thursday showing crime across the school’s campuses dropped in all areas except stalking.

Phillip Bustos, vice president for student services at CNM, said the college’s security unit has stepped up its efforts in being more visible and available to the community.

“It’s just that we have done our best to help students report them (stalking incidents) and get the information out to our students,” Bustos said. “We have reached out to our community and been more responsive.”

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