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September 27, 2010 | by  | in News |
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Law Breakers Hit Law School

Students should keep an eye on their shiny possessions as magpie-like thieves target Vic campuses.

Victoria University has experienced a run of robberies recently as thieves target students’ property.

Within the last two weeks two student laptops have been stolen from the Law School library at the Pipitea campus.

One laptop was stolen from a computer lab. It went missing in the time it took the owner to go to the bathroom.

Associate Director of Campus Services Rainsforth Dix says a number of incidents were reported last week.

“There has been a higher number of thefts reported this week, in particular from the Schools of Architecture and Design and Information Management.”

Dix says theft does not appear to be increasing overall however.

“Overall there has not been anything unusual about the amount of reported thefts this year,” she says.

One student believes security standards at Victoria need to improve.

“It seems extremely ridiculous that any Tom, Dick and Harry can walk in from the street into study areas.”

“VUWSA should work with Campus Security, the Police and other university stakeholders to get a reasonable balance of maintaining open university, but protecting students’ property interests.”

VUWSA President Max Hardy says he is worried about the problem and is looking at solutions.

“[VUWSA] will be following this up with the university and the Community Constable to ascertain if this is an increasing problem.

“We are of course concerned, and will look at ways that VUWSA and the university can prevent thefts around campus.”

It seems that many students are comfortable with security around campus. Observing the Kelburn Library last Wednesday, Salient found 15 laptops unattended and numerous unattended bags. Many of these were still unattended when checked an hour later.

Salient asked one student returning to her unattended computer how she felt about security on campus.

“I’ve never really thought about it,” she says. “I guess I assume there will always be someone around who would notice somebody else touching my stuff.”

Dix advises students to be responsible for their possessions while on campus.

“Students should keep their belongings with them and not leave items unattended. In particular, laptop computers, mobile telephones, memory sticks, bags, wallets/purses, cameras, iPods and other valuables.”

Rupert Abraham of Victoria University’s Law Students’ Society (VUWLSS) sent a message to students warning them of the recent events.

“Please remain vigilant with your personal belongings…If you have any information regarding theft or suspicious behaviour, contact a member of library or faculty staff.”

If students are victims of theft on campus they can contact Campus Care, who have offices at Victoria’s Kelburn, Pipitea and Te Aro campuses.

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