Assaults up around campus periphery

26 September 2005

While spring may be in the air, the season seems to be the harbinger of crime on and off campus.

G4S (Group 4 Securicor) has warned that there has been a spate of armed robberies on the fringes of the campus, and requests the campus community to take extra care, especially on public byways such as Avenue, Stanley and Burg Roads.

Police at Mowbray and Rondebosch have confirmed the trend.

The perpetrators are using firearms and knives in their hold-ups. G4S's advice is: be aware of your surroundings; don't display valuables such as cell phones; and, if you should be the victim of such a crime, don't ask questions.

"Give them what they want and walk away," G4S operations manager Vincent Ricketts suggested. "But try to get a description. Remember what they are wearing and what they look like. Then get to campus protection services or the nearest police station."

Also on the rise is theft of and from motor vehicles on and off campus, also confirmed by police reports.

Don't leave anything in your vehicle. Perpetrators are after sound systems, clothing, CDs, sunglasses.

"Anything that looks interesting," Ricketts added.

Campus security and the police have already made several arrests.

The thieves are also particularly brazen. Campus Protection arrested a man recently, walking down Stanley Road with a TV in his arms. When he was stopped, he confirmed he had stolen it from a house nearby. He had not attempted to hide it.

At this time of year incidents of malicious injury to property also increase, tied to the party season (pre-exam build-up?) and alcohol abuse.

Theft from residences also rises towards the end of the year. Be aware: lock away your valuables at all time.

They have also warned of regular or repeat trespassers on campus. Despite having received warnings from the police, these trespassers often head back to the campus after a few days or weeks. If you see anyone suspicious, alert Campus Protection immediately.

Students and staff are also asked to carry their university ID cards at all times. Campus protection services plan to launch an identification sweep on campus.

The number to call in case of emergency or trouble is 650-2222.

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