25 April 2006

Safety and security should be reinforced

The students learn with fear and annoyance of several reports of theft around the campus since the beginning of March. According to statistics, these include, inter alia, cars and cell phone thefts from academic buildings, student residences and on the streets near the campus.

I remember one morning I was boarding a Jammie Shuttle when a Campus Protection Services (CPS) member handed me a piece of paper detailing three separate cell phone thefts in just one week. As I saw the shock and defencelessness of those studying the notices, I realised that incidents of this kind are not only an obvious concern, but also a serious calamity to all students. We are equally vulnerable to such attacks.

I believe that no one has privilege to blame the victimised students for negligence or not being vigilant regarding their properties. We are all entitled to first-class security and those in charge should see to it that these problems reach an abrupt cul de sac.

On the UCT website, CPS pledges that "under extraordinary circumstances it is empowered to take whatever appropriate action necessary to maintain order and security on campus". Given the current status, I feel it is high time that CPS, as the main body mandated to control campus security, should implement their utmost strategies to fight crime.

Safety and security are some of the major factors that affect academic performance as well as social issues such as involvement in sports. For instance, one would not freely walk to the library or gymnasium, bearing in mind ongoing crime reports. Together, we can make UCT a crime-free and safer place to enjoy life, sharing our 177 years' rich heritage and benefiting from our international credibility without fear.

Jackson Marakalala

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