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Students targeted in crimes

There have recently been a number of assaults made against students near the UEA campus. Issues have been raised concerning the safety of students as they leave campus late at night.

Photograph: Sam Gladstone

Police believe the three incidents to be isolated. One happened on 6 December near the track leading from UEA towards Bluebell Road, followed by a handbag snatch on Earlham Road on 30 December. Two students were also assaulted on 8 January near Bluebell Road.

On 14 January there was also a break in and theft of a student property in the West Earlham area. It is believed the thieves knew how to pick Yale locks or were in possession of a set of keys.

The Dean of Students, Dr. Annie Grant, stressed that the University takes student safety very seriously. UEA security patrols campus 24 hours a day and a student safety group was set up in 2010, with members from DOS, UEA Security, the Union of UEA Students (UUEAS), Norfolk Constabulary and Norwich City Council to discuss and improve student safety and security.

She encourages all students to take appropriate precautions themselves, including avoiding isolated paths, particularly at night, even when they offer a short cut. Students are also advised to carry personal safety alarms, (available for £1 from the UUEAS), and not to use earphones whilst travelling alone at night as these can make students more vulnerable to a surprise assault.

Trevor Smith, the Campus Services Manager in Security, also commented: “We are always looking to improve our camera coverage and have recently upgraded our open platform operating system to allow more cameras to be put onto the system. We are also considering improving lighting in some areas by adopting new LED technology.”

Sam Clark, the Community and Student Rights officer at UUEAS, noted that whilst Norwich remains one of the safest university cities in the UK, this doesn’t mean that crime doesn’t happen. He also mentioned: “the Union has advice on their website with regard to travelling alone or in groups.”

The security lodge can offer personal safety advice, as can the Dean of Students Office and the Union. If you are concerned about anything regarding your safety, the security lodge can be contacted 24 hours a day on 01603 592222.

22/01/2013

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billysexton



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