Calif. crime reporting law enforces Clery Act

CALIFORNIA ‘ Starting in 2004, colleges and universities in the Golden State will be more likely to be caught if they underreport campus crime statistics.

Gov. Gray Davis signed the California Campus Crime Audit law Sept. 24 to add muscle to the Clery Act, the federal law on campus crime reporting. The California law, which gained unanimous support in both houses of the legislature, authorizes the state auditor to randomly select colleges and universities to verify the crime statistics they report.

Under the law, at least six schools are required to submit to the random auditing that will take place every three years. The auditor will ‘evaluate the accuracy of their statistics and the procedures used by the institutions to identify, gather and track data for publishing, disseminating and reporting accurate crime statistics in compliance with the Clery Act.’

The Clery Act does not have a mechanism to hold universities accountable for accurate reporting unless of a complaint is filed against them.