UBC Campus Security has released their 2018 annual report and compared to previous years, there’s been a notable spike in property crime. There was a total of 398 cases of reported theft, compared to last year’s figure of 366 — an increase of 32 cases.
According to the report, bikes and bike parts were the most common items stolen on campus. Two thirds of all bike theft took place during September and October, and the majority of stolen bikes were taken from residential areas on campus.
“The priorities of the department is reducing the property crime. Property crime is our biggest issue ... and the biggest challenge we have is perhaps bike theft,” said Ali Mojdehi, acting director of Campus Security.
There were 190 bikes or bike parts stolen in 2018 compared to 125 in 2017. Mojdehi advised students to take precautions such as locking their bikes properly, using U-locks and not leaving their belongings unattended.
“All those are the things that will benefit us to reduce the crime and created a safer community for all of us to enjoy.”
Mojdehi also noted that Campus Security has been taking steps to educate students on securing their belongings.
“We’re trying to advise students regularly, you've seen us out there for our crime prevention weeks where we regularly try to be around the bookstore, trying to teach people how to lock their bikes,” he said.
“We’re constantly walking in areas in the bookstore and such, trying to remind people not to leave anything unattended, and we’re actively helping RCMP to make arrests.”
Preventing crime where it happens
Theft has been most prominent in residential areas on campus. According to the report, 38 per cent of all bike theft occurred on residential areas.
Residence Hall Association (RHA) President Vandita Kumar explained that people tailgating into residences is an ongoing problem that can lead to security risks.
“The residences of the UBC are much larger than a lot of other university residences, one residential community at UBC is over 1,300 to 1,500 people, and it’s impossible to know everybody who lives there,” she said.
“And so I think when you’re walking into your building, you might just open the door open for somebody behind you not realizing that they might not actually live there.”
Kumar encouraged students to be proactive when people try to tailgate, such as asking for their student ID or asking them to wait for their friend to let them in.
“Hopefully if there are students who live in res who feel unsafe, they feel open to come to maybe residence life staff or RHA members, and hopefully we will be able to work on actively providing a safe more comfortable for them, because it is their home after all.”