University of Oxford is often times seen as the pinnacle of education in England, only seemingly rivalled by Cambridge for sheer notoriety in this department. Being the epicentre of all pursuits of knowledge for the last nearly 1000 years, how does it fair with reference to crime and criminal activity in Oxford? Well, looking at data from 2017, we can determine just what the issue is with Oxford University’s crime and how to effectively prevent it.
How does Oxford University stack up?
All in all, Oxford University owned-property saw 362 counts of criminal incidents between the academic year of the 1st of October 2016 to the 1st of October 2017.
All information has been provided by the Thames Valley Police in response to Freedom of Information request. One of Oxford University’s spokespeople has stressed that when comparing against crime figures from other universities, Oxford university is seen to be “very low”.
Whilst crime in Oxford isn’t a terribly common incident, one crime that is, would be bike theft, currently sitting at 185% of the national average, you are almost twice as likely to have your bike stolen in Oxford than most other places in the UK.
This is only exemplified for Oxford University, with 149 of the 362 offences being bike theft, making up a massive 41% of all crimes reported. This supplements the rest of the theft-related offences which total up to 268 or 74% of all offences, making this the most common type of crime committed by a landslide.
More violent acts of crime are a lot more scarce, with violence, assault and arson only having a few outlying cases at most.
According to the spokesperson, the “low” crime rate of the university can be attributed to a number of factors including a solid security focus as well as the university being located in the city centre, one of Oxford’s safest areas.
Apparently, the University is looking into bringing in a bike rental service, as bike theft seems to be their most prevalent issue when it comes to crime on campus.
When it comes to analysing crime figures and statistics, context is incredibly important, understanding where particular areas lie when it comes to crime allows you to plan how to combat crime the most efficiently.
With this in mind, analysing these numbers in comparison to the wider Oxford area will give us a better understanding of just how well Oxford University handles crime.
Oxford’s Crime Rate
Just to understand these numbers, Oxford University currently holds around 39,000 members, 15,000 being staff and 24,000 being students. Running this by the numbers we have comes out to 1 crime for every 107 people, let’s take a look at Oxford’s crime rate as a city.
Oxford has a population of around 154,600, in the previous year it saw 15,100 crimes roughly, this means that Oxford has 1 crime for every 10 people. Whilst this is a fairly standard crime rate for the UK, with the average being 1 crime for every 10.4 people, it does show that the university is doing a very good job of keeping crime down.
For some more context on where Oxford University’s crime rate sits, let’s compare it to the crime rates of some other universities across Britain. Taking the two extremes, we have Harper Adams at the lower end, with the lowest crime rate of any university in Britain, this chart uses a different measuring system and so states that Harper Adams has 21 crimes for every 1000 people.
In this chart, Oxford sits at 41 crimes for every 1000 people, the worst university is supposedly Bradford, currently sitting at around 90 crimes for every 1000 people. This puts Oxford University somewhere in the lower middle of the pack, indicating that by both city and university standards, it is a very safe place to study.
In conclusion, whilst there is a serious skew towards bicycle theft and crime of that nature, Oxford University is a very safe centre of education, there is a distinct focus on security due to the nature of the work that goes on in their everyday which also may help to put potential future alumni’s mind at ease.
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