Volume 91, Issue 35

Friday, October 31, 1997

flesh and bones


Student eye on crime

By Sara Marett
Gazette Staff

The University Students' Council Events Staff may be on their way to making campus a safer place.

The group is proposing a "Crime Watch/Crime Stoppers" program with hopes of getting support from the administration, the University Police Department and the USC.

Trevor Telfer, an Events Staff employee, said he proposed the new program because he recognized the need for a more pro-active system for dealing with crime on campus.

"The UPD does an excellent job, but they are limited for the most part to reactionary situations. We hope to generate information that would help students prevent something from happening," he said.

The program targets the flow of information regarding crime. "The UPD would provide us with information which we would distribute to bulletin boards in buildings around campus, according to the geographical location in which the occurrence took place," Tefler said. Students would also be able to submit information to a box at these locations which the Events Staff would pass on to the UPD.

This system would offer anonymity, which the UPD cannot, Telfer said. By processing the information through the Events Staff, students would not have to give their name, whereas the UPD requires it.

The Crime Watch program would also offer students a bi-monthly pamphlet of information on current criminal activity, Telfer said. He is also considering a publication in The Gazette or Western News with this information.

The Crime Stoppers service would operate for about 10 hours a day with volunteers answering phones, he explained. This service would also offer complete anonymity and financial awards for tips which led to conviction, Telfer said.

Inspector Bob Earle of the UPD said he has not yet seen the proposal, but he is interested in the program. "We would likely agree to be a part of this initiative, I think the campus would benefit from it," he said.

Mike Foster, the USC campus safety commissioner, said there are similar programs in the U.S. which have succeeded at cutting crime rates and increasing the number of reported crimes on campus.

Bill Trimble, senior director of human resources at Western, said he has received the proposal from Telfer, but has not yet read it.

To Contact The News Department: gaznews@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1997