TBI: Simple assaults most common crime on K-12 campuses

Rick Wagner • May 26, 2018 at 6:30 PM

NASHVILLE — Simple assaults using “personal weapons” were the most common offenses reported in Tennessee’s public schools in the past three years.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation this month released a new study detailing the volume and nature of crime on K-12 campuses across the state. The annual report compiles three years of crime data submitted to TBI by the state’s law enforcement agencies through the Tennessee Incident Based Reporting System.

The full report is available online and reachable through the TBI website at www.tn.gov/tbi.

Help for fighting school crime

“This study will hopefully assist law enforcement, school administrations and government officials in planning their efforts in the fight against crime and continue to create awareness that crime exists as a threat to our communities,” TBI Director Mark Gwyn said.

“The threats to society by criminal activity must be addressed by efforts from all law-abiding citizens, as well as law enforcement agencies.”

The findings of “School Crime 2015-2017”

— From 2015 to 2017, 27,038 offenses were reported by Tennessee law enforcement agencies with a “school” location code.

— The number of offenses occurring in school increased 13.5 percent, from 8,494 offenses in 2015 to 9,642 in 2017.

— Simple assault was the most frequently reported offense, accounting for 37.4 percent of reported offenses.

— The month of September had the highest frequency of reported school crimes.

— White males accounted for 57.3 percent of offenders in reported offenses, females accounted for 52.8 percent of victims.

— The most common weapon type was “personal weapons,” listed as hands, fist, feet, etc., at 80.1 percent.

Simple assault in local schools

In Sullivan County, simple assaults were the most common crime reported by law enforcement on school campuses.

For instance, the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office reported 884 simple assaults in 2015 on school grounds, compared to 17 for the Bluff City Police Department, 943 from the Kingsport Police Department and 446 from the Bristol Police Department.

In 2016, that increased to 1,131 simple assaults reported by the sheriff’s office, but dropped to 12 in Bluff City, dropped to 935 in Kingsport and 477 in Bristol.

And in 2017, simple assaults had risen to 1,213 in Sullivan County, fallen to 10 in Bluff City, risen to 1,040 in Kingsport and fallen to 428 in Bristol.

As with all of TBI crime publications, the TBI cautioned against using the data provided in these reports to compare one jurisdiction to another.

“The factors impacting crime vary from community to community and, accordingly, comparisons are considered neither fair nor accurate,” a news release stated. 

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