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Crime Reporting Policy

Title: Crime Reporting Policy*

Effective Date: September 1, 2011

Revision Date: December 17, 2014*

Responsible Office: Compliance & Policy

I.       Scope

This policy applies to the College of William & Mary in Virginia, including the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (the university).  It applies to all individuals designated as Campus Security Authorities, as described in Section III below.

This policy applies to alleged, reported or suspected criminal conduct or incidents that occur on William & Mary's "Clery Act geography":

  • on campus,
  • on public property bordering campus, and
  • in non-campus areas leased or otherwise controlled by the university.  This includes (for example) the Gloucester campus of VIMS, the William & Mary in Washington physical areas, the William & Mary Peninsula Center, and the university offices located in New Town. 

The identity of the individuals involved in the criminal incident is not relevant; crimes involving individuals with no affiliation to William & Mary are still subject to reporting under this procedure, provided that they occurred on the university's Clery Act geography.  For this policy, it is the  

The types of criminal conduct and incidents required to be reported are discussed in Section IV (Reporting Obligation).  Section IV also explains how and when the reporting obligation arises.

II.    Purpose; Explanation of Clery Act

The purpose of this policy is to help increase the safety and security of the university campus, to implement the university’s Code of Ethics, which requires reporting of illegal conduct,[1] and to ensure compliance with the Clery Act.  The Clery Act is the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which is a federal law requiring that the university collect crime report information from Campus Security Authorities as well as local police. Campus Security Authorities are required to report so that:

  • if there is a crime posing an ongoing threat to the safety of university members, the university can provide a timely warning to the campus community;
  • police can investigate the reported crime if warranted; and
  • the university can accurately disclose crime statistics as required by the Clery Act.

III.  Campus Security Authorities

Campus Security Authorities are, according to federal regulation, employees who have significant responsibility for student or campus activities or who have security responsibilities as part of their jobs.  Each Dean, Vice President, and other university unit head designates each  employee in his or her unit who meets the definition of “Campus Securities Authority.”  The Office of Compliance & Policy notifies Campus Security Authorities of their responsibilities.   

IV.  Reporting Obligation: What, When and How to Report

What to Report: There are many types of crimes.  This policy is focused on “Clery Act crimes,” which are:

  • murder and manslaughter
  • sex offenses, forcible or non-forcible but not including sexual harassment or indecent exposure (if the alleged, suspected, or reported victim is a W&M student, the sex offense also needs to be reported to the Title IX Coordinator/Dean of Students; for further information, see the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation or related guidance documents)

  • domestic violence and dating violence (if the alleged, suspected, or reported victim is a W&M student, the incident likely also needs to be reported to the Title IX Coordinator/Dean of Students; for further information, see the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation or related guidance documents)
  • stalking (if the alleged, suspected, or reported victim is a W&M student, the stalking incident likely also needs to be reported to the Title IX Coordinator/Dean of Students; for further information, see the Policy on Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation or related guidance documents)
  • robbery and burglary
  • aggravated assault
  • motor vehicle theft – including theft of motorized scooters, golf carts, motorized wheelchairs and the like 
  • arson
  • so-called “hate crimes” – (i) any other crime involving bodily injury, or (ii) larceny-theft, simple assault, intimidation, and destruction/ damage/ vandalism of property, when  motivated by the perpetrator’s bias.  Bias is defined as a negative opinion or attitude toward a group of persons based on their  race, gender or gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity/national origin, or disability.

Definitions of these Clery Act crimes are provided in Appendix A

Attempts of any of these types of crimes are also considered to be Clery Act crimes; for example, if someone attempts to burn down a university building but the fire is quickly suppressed by the sprinkler system, the act must be reported, as attempted arson.

Other types of crimes are not covered by this policy. The university’s Code of Ethics, however, requires all members of the campus community report illegal and unethical conduct.[2]     

When to Report – When and How the Reporting Obligation Arises:  When a Campus Security Authority becomes aware of conduct or behavior that reasonably appears to constitute a Clery Act crime that occurred on our Clery Act geography, he or she must report the incident to the William & Mary Police.  An employee may become aware of a criminal incident by witnessing an incident involving criminal behavior.  More commonly, a Campus Security Authority will be told about such an incident. 

A Campus Security Authority must report the incident unless he or she (1) has good reason to doubt the validity of the information or (2) is reasonably certain that the incident has already been reported.  The Campus Security Authority should not attempt to make a determination as to whether there is adequate evidence of a crime or whether the alleged incident actually occurred.  The Campus Security Authority may not wait for criminal charges to be brought, arrests to be made, or determinations of guilt to be made. 

How and What to Report:  Campus Security Authorities must report Clery Act crimes to the William & Mary Police.  Reporting can be done by phone or in person, in either case to the William & Mary Police Department located at 201 Ukrop Way, 221-4596 (non-emergency calls).  Online reporting mechanisms may also be available. 

  • The Campus Security Authority must make it clear that she is calling to report as a Campus Security Authority, such as by identifying herself as a Campus Security Authority or by saying that she is calling to report a Clery Act Incident or to report under the Crime Reporting Policy.
  • The Campus Security Authority should provide as much detail about the incident as possible to ensure appropriate response and accurate recording of the incident.  It is particularly important for the Police to know where the incident occurred (or is alleged to have occurred) and to have enough detail to determine whether they already are aware of the incident. 

The Campus Security Authority must report even if the information regarding the incident was shared with him or her in confidence (confidentially).  If a victim does not want his or her identity revealed, the Campus Security Authority may withhold the identity of the victim when making the report. 

Reports may be made anonymously – without revealing the identity of the Campus Security Authority making the report. 

The Clery Act Guidance for CSAs provides more information about crime reporting.  

V. Enforcement

Campus Security Authorities who fail to report criminal incidents or conduct to William & Mary Police under this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.  Any discipline will be imposed in accordance with applicable personnel policies. 

The Office of Compliance & Policy will notify and remind Campus Security Authorities of their reporting obligations at least annually.  Newly hired employees will be informed of the reporting obligation during new employee orientation. 

VI.  Authority and Amendment

This policy, as amended, is approved by the President.  The President has authorized the Chief Compliance Officer to make minor or technical amendments, such as revisions to the list of Clery Act crimes (Appendix A) in response to legal or regulatory developments.

Effective July 2013, this policy was amended to expand the types of hate crimes that constitute Clery Act incidents in accordance with the Violence Against Women Act.   Effective March 2014, this policy was amended to clarify the definition of hate crimes, to provide information on how CSAs should report matters, and to link to the Timely Warning Policy.  Effective December 17, 2014, the Chief Compliance Officer amended this policy to comply with the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act by expanding the list of Clery Act crimes to include the crimes of dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking, and to make minor modifications to improve clarity.              

VII.  Related Policies or Other Documents

Appendix A - Definitions of Clery Act Incidents
Memo from Chief Compliance Officer to Campus Security Authorities 
Timely Warning Policy
Code of Ethics
Campus Security & Crime Information, including College of William and Mary Annual Campus Safety and Fire Report


* This Policy, as amended effective February 1, 2013, replaces the Crime Reporting Procedure.

[1] Under the William & Mary Code of Ethics, all members of the university are required to report illegal or unethical conducts where a university member is involved or that are relating to university activities. However, under this policy, as required by the Clery Act, campus securities authorities must report certain crimes that occur on campus, regardless of whether university members are involved or whether the crimes relate to university activities. 

[2] The university also collects, from local police and certain staff in Student Affairs, information regarding liquor law violations, drug abuse violations, and certain weapons violations that result either in an arrest or in a disciplinary referral under the university’s Code of Conduct.