The university says that it is currently planning to expand the number of cameras in buildings. “However, this will take some time,” says the spokesperson. The university cannot say whether the cameras will be installed in study areas like the library and the Polak. “Unfortunately we are unable to comment on this yet.”
The campus is being targeted by a gang which steals laptops and phones, security advisor Jelle Jager confirmed last November. At the end of December, a student caught a thief in the act. Extradition proceedings are currently in progress because the thief did not have the correct residence permits. At least one more laptop was stolen this week as well: a student left her laptop unattended for forty-five minutes. When she returned, her laptop had gone.
Aboutaleb: security is the responsibility of the university
Where and when the cameras will be installed and what they will look like is not yet known. The university council – which will need to approve all the cameras at the university – is still in the dark. “But as soon as we see the plans, we will try to ensure a good balance between security and privacy,” says council president Hans van den Berg.
Following the reports about a gang on campus, VVD party chairman Vincent Karremans put some questions to the municipal council. These questions concerned the policy in public buildings, what statistics existed and whether the municipality was prepared to take measures if the figures revealed that the thefts were a major problem.
Mayor Aboutaleb replied that the police do not specifically record whether personal property is stolen in public buildings. He says that the municipality is only responsible for its own buildings and that other institutions, like the university, are responsible for their own security.
‘watch your stuff!’ campaign
The problem with laptop thefts has been around for some time. In 2017, the library put up posters warning: “Watch your stuff! Be aware of thieves! Please, don’t leave your belongings unattended.” The staff also enforced this message by placing flyers on unattended laptops.