Volume 94, Issue 20

Wednesday, October 4, 2000


Peeping incidents plague UWO area

Thames toxic blot to be contained

Ottawa students protest tuition changes

Wet/Dry violators to be fined

Smoking may leave you depressed

Alliance MP calls for vote reform

Med students plead for tuition decrease

Peeping incidents plague UWO area

By Wes Brown
Gazette Staff

A 'peeping Tom' incident has left a house of Western students feeling they have no privacy.

Lisa Julian, a second-year biology student, who is currently living on Regent Street behind the Medway and Sydenham residences, said on three separate occasions she and her roommates have been spied on by someone lurking in their backyard.

"The first one was on the10th of September. The last two occurrences were on the 20th and 30th [of September] and the [London Police] were contacted," she said.

Since then, Julian said the house locks have been changed. She said police patrols in the area have been increased, but she and her roommates have not been contacted with an update on the investigation.

"The [London Police] said they would check if there were any other incidents that they could compare with on their databases," she said. "It's supposed to be a really safe area. We've contacted our neighbours – one saw a guy running through their backyard, but nobody else has really noticed anything."

Julian added she caught a glimpse of the individual and described the suspect as a male in his early twenties, who is short and has a narrow face and dark brown hair.

Const. Paul Martin, media spokesperson for the London Police, said there has been no increase in reports of prowlers since the school year began, but added students should be aware that crimes of this nature do occur.

"We're not asking anyone to confront these individuals, just to call the police if such an event occurs," he said.

"As far as the police are concerned, there are no specific demographic areas that are hit any worse than others [in London]. What I'm trying to say is, there are no significant increases in student areas," Martin explained. He added he does not want to create any sort of panic with the reporting of an incident such as this.

On campus, University Police Department Const. Wendy McGowan, said the UPD and London Police work closely together on occurrences like this, adding the London Police sent the UPD information about the reports filed on both the 20th and 30th of September.

"The [London Police] made us aware of a prowler in the [Regent] area," McGowan said, of September's peeping Tom incident. "Although we are directly responsible for the Western campus, we are also part of the greater London community."

McGowan said if events like this occur, the best thing to do is report them immediately. "Calling us the next day doesn't allow us to act on it too much, especially since the prowlers are usually on foot," she said.

McGowan added she too did not want to cause alarm, but wanted students to know these things happen and said students should take full advantage of services offered such as the Foot Patrol, as well as presentations featured at Campus Safety week.

University Students' Council VP-campus issues, Andrea Boulay, said the reported voyeurism is an example of the issues being addressed by Campus Safety Week, which is currently underway.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000