Campus crime down but UCT remains alert

17 March 2003
CRIME on Campus in general has shown a downward trend over the past few years and the management believes that the serious number of preventative security measures adopted in recent years have paid off.

But, the University is facing a new challenge in that crime on the fringes of UCT seems to be increasing and UCT representatives are in urgent discussions with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the city's police to attempt to secure the safety of students and staff on and off Campus.

UCT has committed millions of rands over the past years in an attempt to ensure their safety. This crime prevention plan has included the fencing of residences, increased visibility from members of the Campus Protection Services (CPS), increased access control measures, the development of a blue safe walk route with emergency telephones and surveillance cameras, the installation of CCTV around Campus, improved lighting across the University, increased roadblocks and an extension of the CPS controlled area.

John Critien, Executive Director for Properties and Services and charged with security issues on Campus, believes the 13% decrease in crime in 2002 over 2001 reflects the success of UCT's crime prevention measures and the vigilant adherence to the “zero tolerance” philosophy adopted by UCT management and CPS in particular.

“The UCT community is a huge and one would expect a measure of criminal activity. I am grateful that 99% of the on-Campus crimes are not crimes that include murder, rape and armed robberies but rather theft, trespassing and loss of cell phones.

"This does not mean we can relax the fight against crime or our awareness of criminal activity. We have to remain vigilant and work hard to decrease the opportunities for criminals on Campus. Indications are that more than half of the crimes on Campus could have been avoided.

“The issue of fringe crime is of great concern. In the past few weeks we have seen an increase in robberies in the streets around UCT. These areas include Rondebosch Main, Stanley, Berg, Chapel, Anzio, and Falmouth Roads.

"These are the hotspots and students and staff should be particularly vigilant in these areas, especially at night or during quite times. It would be best to avoid these roads altogether, if possible. We are in urgent discussions with the SAPS in this regard and have already extended patrols to include these areas.

“Our crime awareness campaign is still ongoing and we invite members of the UCT community to become our eyes and ears in the fight against crime.”

Monday Paper will reflect on the crime situation, particularly the crime on our borders, regularly in forthcoming editions.

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