Did Crime at UM Really Jump Over 1,000 Percent?
The Montana Board of Crime Control recently updated its incident-based reporting system database with the December crime totals from last year. Now, with the full year in review, some startling trends begin to appear. At first glance, the most shocking statistic is a 1,076 percent increase in crime at the University of Montana, however, UM Chief of Police Marty Ludemann says that percentage is skewed.
"We report these crime statistics to the State of Montana and, basically, it is pulled out of our record management system, and last year (2014) we had some software issues so we only reported, I think, two months out of twelve, so that really skewed our percentage."
Ludemann says that the crime rate has been pretty normal, with just a few upticks and that one or two instances of a crime can cause a jump of 100 percent or more, when compared against an empty data set.
"I'd say that crime held pretty much the same," Ludemann said. "If we did get some increases it would probably be due to alcohol and misdemeanor drug things in our resident halls, those are pretty consistent, but they are usually relatively higher due to the age of our population and the things they choose to participate in."
Other Missoula Crime statistics were all over the map, the city reported an 18 percent increase in the crime rate, while the county of Missoula reported a 27 percent decrease. The board of Crime Control recently hired a new statistician who will hopefully be able to explain what the crime story really is sometime next week.