- Associated Press - Friday, October 2, 2015

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - The number of reported forcible sex offenses dropped at the University of Wyoming last year, but stalking cases more than doubled, according to the university’s annual crime report released this week.

There were nine reported forcible sex offense cases, including one in a student residence building, in 2014, down from 15 in 2013. Stalking cases increased from 10 in 2013 to 22 last year.

Campus police and victim advocates say that there are many cases that go unreported and that the state’s only public four-year university needs to continue efforts to prevent and respond to the crimes.

“It’s something that we can’t really ever rest on,” UW Police Chief Mike Samp said Friday. “There’s always the transient population at the university. We always have more education to do.”

Samp said the stalking numbers are indicative of the increased use of social media by students.

“Unfortunately people put too much information out on social media and it becomes an issue for them,” he said.

The university has instituted programs to educate students about the dangers they face on campus.

Samp said one campus program, STOP Violence, is aimed at males in hopes that they will not commit a sex crime and intervene to stop a sex offense from occurring.

In addition, all freshmen have been required to receive safety education on the consequences and cause of crime.

Becca Fisher, executive director of the Albany County SAFE Project, said she applauds the university for its efforts but she said more can be done.

Fisher noted that STOP Violence program in the Dean of Students Office has only one paid staff member.

“I’m not trying to criticize what they are doing because they’ve at least made it a priority and created the office, but I definitely think that the office could use more help because she’s only really able to handle the response piece and isn’t able to do as much education and prevention work as she would like to,” she said.

The crime report noted decreases in alcohol and drug citations issued by campus police. Alcohol citations dropped from 246 in 2013 to 175 in 2014 while drug citations fell from 64 to 33.

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