St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick have added more security cameras around campus after a first-year student at Chatham Hall had her car and laptop stolen last month.
Bruce Rogerson, UNB’s director of security, said 14 or 15 new cameras have been added, bringing the total number of cameras on the STU and UNB campuses to more than 50.
And UNB security is talking to STU to get more cameras for protection of students, he added.
“Because of the event [at]Chatham Hall, now that UNB [is] part of the security, we have more input of what should be put there for security,” said Rogerson.
Although the cameras are primarily on the UNB campus, there are some set up at the entrances of Chatham Hall and Rigby Hall.
There are also some that look over the Vanier parking lot and one on Dineen Drive that looks up to the STU entrance.
UNB and STU’s shared spots, such as the SUB building, Harriett Irving Library, Wu Centre, and the UNB bookstore, also have cameras.
The only interior cameras are in academic buildings at UNB. This is just in case someone were to break in.
“The cameras are aimed for the main entrances, [we] don’t want to be too intrusive,” said Rogerson.
“They are on all the time but on look at it when there is an emergency call or event. The cameras are not in the lounge area, just common areas, hallways.”
Cameras in Chatham Hall and Rigby Hall were paid for by STU, but all others have been funded by UNB.
But even with security cameras, Rogerson emphasized the need for students to keep themselves safe.
“Cameras might help, but the fact is that people have to take ownership, can’t keep windows [open] and [must keep] doors locked. Security can’t help that,” he said.
“Maybe if there were a camera it might have caught the person. But no amount of security will help. You don’t want to be over-policed. Especially if you are on the ground floor – be careful. People need to treat it as if it was an apartment.”
The best option, according to Rogerson, would be to have a campus watch group.
Since the break-in at Chatham Hall, one other male student reported someone was in his room and some of his money was missing about two weeks
ago. The student lived on the first floor of Chatham Hall. It is unknown if his door was left unlocked.
“If you have a professional thief and you know students are being careless, then they are going to take advantage,” Rogerson said.
“Even after the event, if you weren’t the victim you won’t care until you are the victim.