UHPD plans for winter security

According to the 2011 UH Annual Crime Report, issued in compliance with the Cleary Act, there were 55 burglaries in the residential halls reported, nearly seven times more than were reported in the previous year.
Students who are not taking their personal belongings home and plan on keeping them in campus storage are recommended to engrave serial or recognizable numbers on each item of value, the report said.

“Police patrol and security units will be staffed and operational for the duration of the holiday break. We will be available to provide the same services as we do throughout the year,” said UH Police Department Lt. Bret Collier.

“We will be increasing our monitoring of the residential areas on campus during the break. Our staff has worked with Student Housing and Residential Life to identify doors that are left propped open, and both police and security will be visible in the residence halls to make sure that the opportunity for crime is markedly reduced.”

Collier said 30 rooms were burglarized during the winter holiday last year but UHPD will be taking steps to prevent this from happening again.

“This was an unprecedented event, and is the impetus for increased scrutiny this year of the residential areas, therefore there will be an increase in security during this year’s break,” Collier said.

“We’d like to remind students that are staying on campus during the break to immediately report anything they see that may be a safety or security concern.”

It also recommends students to register their bicycles and laptop computers, take inventory of their personal property and secure it appropriately with personal insurance coverage. Taking these preventive measures may help aid the UHPD in locating the stolen property in the event the thief attempts to pawn or sell the stolen merchandise, the report said.
Everything of value is of potential target, said political science junior Zachary Davis.
“Whether it’s a television, laptop, printer or even textbooks from the previous semester, students have to keep in mind that a thief does not care the make or model, but only if money can be made from it,” Davis said.
Long periods of absence from the residential halls can lead to vulnerability for students, said business senior Jason Leung.
“Even though access to the residential halls is supposed to be restricted to residents, their approved guest and other members of the University community, students must understand that it only takes a second for a thief to strike,” Leung said.
Biology freshman Aaron Ellison  said he is not going to leave his valuables on campus.
“Extended breaks, like the winter and summer breaks, are when the campus is most vulnerable. Most of my friends joke about the crime that happens on campus and how it could never happen to us, but I’m taking my stuff home just in case,” Ellison said.
Ellison said he may be more apt to leaving his belongings on campus if he really felt his things would be safe.
“The amount of frustration and heartbreak that comes with something being stolen from you is not worth it when all we have to do is be more responsible for our belongings,” Davis said.
“I hope everyone takes these preventive measures to make sure their valuables are here when they get back.”

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