Laptop theft is regarded as the most common crime on the University of Manitoba campus, Linda Lavallee, director of Security Services at the U of M, explained during a presentation at a University of Manitoba Students Union (UMSU) council meeting Sept. 22.
Part of the reason laptop theft is the most common type of campus crime is because of laptops’ portability; it is easy to steal an unattended laptop from libraries or student lounges, put it in a bag and walk off the campus, she noted.
Lavallee pointed out that students should also be careful when purchasing items through websites such as Kijiji.ca.
Last week, a Security Services investigation discovered that a student’s laptop, stolen in April, was subsequently found with another student on campus, who had purchased it through a Kijiji ad.
Lavallee stressed that students should to make sure they are getting the receipts and “buying laptops legitimately.”
It’s often people coming from off campus who are committing thefts, not students stealing from students, she went on to explain.
Lavallee also said that during the holidays, several councils and student groups hold fundraising campaigns on campus, and there have been several incidents where donation money was stolen either from the donation boxes or from student group offices.
UMSU can help the student groups in situations like these — there are lockers available where money can be stored safely. “Councillors can bring their money to the UMSU office and leave it with them; it will be safe,” said UMSU president, Camilla Tapp.
Councillors asked Lavallee about how security services will work with UMSU once the new pub is opened. Lavallee commented that, even in the absence of a campus lounge over the past year, students are still consuming, and sometimes over-consuming, alcohol on and off campus.
“It’s a serious issue for us,” she said.
She pointed to an incident earlier in September where an ambulance was called to attend to a student who had over-consumed alcohol and needed medical attention. In another recent situation, Security Services responded to an incident where a student had over-consumed and had been left on campus by an individual that had been accompanying them that evening, according to Lavallee.
“If [Security Services] hadn’t been there, I’m not sure what would have happened,” Lavallee said.
Some councillors asked about the use of security cameras on campus. Bilan Arte, Womyn’s Centre representative for UMSU, asked how many cameras were present on campus and where they were located.
Lavallee replied that there were approximately 550 cameras at the U of M, located in areas “the public would normally be in” and where students may feel isolated, such as locker areas. All of these cameras record, she confirmed.
Lavallee stressed that students shouldn’t hesitate to contact Security Services if they need help, and that Security Services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for studentsto use.
Security Services can be reached at (204) 474-9341, or #555 from all campus phones. #555 also works from MTS cell phones, with the exception of iPhones. Emergency Red Phones and Code Blue Stations are located throughout campus.