10 Tips to Combat Theft on Campus
Here’s how Keiser University protects its equipment and the personal belongings of students, faculty and staff.
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According to the FBI, theft is the most common crime for personal gain. Almost anything can be stolen from a campus environment. In addition to unauthorized persons, the perpetrators of theft can be students, employees and visitors. The reasons that items are stolen may vary but most thefts occur because of opportunity and the willingness of an individual to commit a crime. We cannot change a person’s character, however, we can lessen the opportunity for theft to occur and make property more difficult to steal.
Here are a few simple rules to protect property on campus:
- Enforce access controls. Campus visitors should not be allowed to enter campus property without first signing in with reception. Employees, contractors and students should not be allowed on campus without displaying campus identification.
- Personal property should never be left unattended.
- The most common targets of theft on a campus are small items such as laptop computers, cell phones, wallets and pocketbooks. These articles should be kept secured at all times.
- No items of value should be left on top of desks and tables when the office is vacant. These items should be locked and secured when personnel are out of the office. Office doors should be locked when no one is occupying the office.
- Keep track of key fobs, swipe cards and office keys in your possession, storing them in a secure place and not handing them out to unauthorized persons. All of these items should be collected when a staff member leaves employment.
- Classroom and laboratory doors should always be locked when the room is not being used. Computers, projectors and other equipment of value should be secured with brackets or cables to reduce the opportunities for theft. Laptop computers should never be left unattended.The campus may consider installing anti-theft or tracking devices on expensive equipment. These devices are available thorough most alarm companies that currently serve campuses.
- Areas of high vulnerability for theft should be routinely checked by campus security. Security should conduct a pre-closing search of the campus to ensure buildings are secure and locked.
- Effective and operational video surveillance cameras should be placed in high visibility locations, particularly near the library, bookstore, Information Technology and campus entrances/exits.
- In the parking lot, valuables should be locked in the trunk of your car and not left in plain view.
- In addition to campus property and personal belongings, identity theft is a growing trend. The campus should implement routine inspections, protocols and guidelines to help protect student and employee personal information.
Report any suspicious activity immediately to administration, campus security or campus police.
Theft is most often a crime of opportunity. By following these few simple steps to limit that opportunity, it can make a world of difference at our campuses. Stay safe!
Gregory Richter is the director of safety and security at Keiser University.