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Campus security

Media release

C233/08

Representatives of Curtin University met with Police today and discussed some urgent initiatives to respond to recent attacks on and around the Curtin campus and in the Bentley area.

The security presence was immediately increased after news of an attack late on Friday night, and additional security staff and patrols are now in place.

A female student was attacked while walking home along Hayman Road near the Bus Station after midnight on Friday night. The mature age student was approached by three men, one of whom pushed and punched her to the ground in what Police believe was an attempted robbery. Cannington Police are investigating the incident.

The student is recovering in hospital and has been visited by Curtin Security and a counsellor from the University.

Curtin University Acting Deputy Vice Chancellor Strategy and Planning, Ms Val Raubenheimer, said that the spate of recent security incidents in the area is of great concern to the University.

“The University has introduced a number of security initiatives since the injection of $2.5 million in 2006 in an effort to make the campus safer for students and staff,” Ms Raubenheimer said.

“A Cardex access control system which includes campus assistance speaker points has been installed in a number of buildings, having the dual purpose of increasing building security and freeing up Security personnel to conduct more regular patrols. Additional CCTV cameras and lighting have also been installed to increase security and visibility in external areas.

“We have also expanded the Campus Courtesy Bus service to run during the day so that it is now available from 9am to 2am Monday to Thursday and until midnight on Friday nights. The Courtesy Bus can be hailed at any point around the campus or people can contact security to be collected from their buildings.”

Ms Raubenheimer said that the University has also equipped Security personnel with scooters and fluorescent vests to make them more mobile and visible.

“We have an extremely hard working Security team who collaborate closely with the local police on a number of initiatives.

“Last week, 22 police officers from the South East Metropolitan Crime Prevention Unit conducted a security information and awareness program on campus which was attended by large numbers of students including many of our international students who are often not as aware of personal safety as local students.

“We have also developed a Security website http://about.curtin.edu.au/security/ that outlines safety tips and information to assist students and staff.”

Curtin will soon be installing a Virtual Observer CCTV system – technology developed by Curtin – to security vehicles and the Courtesy Bus, providing a 360 degree view while recording images with the time and GPS location. The information can then be uploaded for later viewing if required.

However, despite all these measures the University acknowledges that additional actions need to be put in place while Police investigate the latest spate of crimes.

“Our Security personnel are visiting students living on campus to remind them about safety and email messages have again been sent out to the entire Curtin community to be vigilant about their personal security. We have asked the Police to spend more time on campus next week and we will run information sessions reminding students and staff about personal safety issues.

“Unfortunately this is a community problem, not just an issue affecting Curtin. Because of that we will be urgently seeking appointments with our local Councils – Canning, Victoria Park and South Perth – to see what assistance they can provide by increasing their security patrols in the area,” Ms Raubenheimer said.