Students warned after week of thefts

first_imgHe said there was “always a risk” in having a room on the ground floor, especially when it backed out on to “a large, vacant field”. His room looks out over Balliol’s sports facilities.However Whitby emphasised that he did not think Jowett Walk was “particularly insecure compared to other student accommodation.”The gate to the complex can only be opened by a code, and to get into the residential towers a separate code is also needed.Other tenants of the complex have expressed concerns about security. Olivia Cocker said it was “unnerving” and that she felt “horrified that someone managed to break in so easily.”“I don’t feel safe in my own home anymore”, she added. Such fear does not, however, appear to be universal among those living in Jowett. Danny Anson-Jones, who described his flat as being “heavily equipped with Tesco value groceries”, issued a warning to any prospective burglar: “We don’t care if you’re running away, the tinned tomatoes are gonna be hurled at the back of your dirty little head!”Balliol’s Domestic Bursar, Jo Roadknight, sent a message to students warning them to “firmly shut their windows when they are out of their rooms”. Cocker and other residents said that they would now be more vigilant about such security measures.Reflecting on how the incident has affected Brasenose, Ben Stafford said, “I think attitudes so far have become perhaps slightly more vigilant. Perhaps a certain naïveté has been lost, although it remains to be seen whether this is just a short-term thing or whether practices will change for good.”A fob is required to enter Brasenose library, and Stafford expressed his confidence “in the way the college security is managed.“Ultimately it’s always going to come down to individuals being vigilant”.He put the security breach largely down to “the time of year, where we’re used to seeing new faces and wouldn’t question someone who came into the library behind us”.Porters, college authorities and student representatives from both colleges declined to provide a comment on the incidents. Police are appealing for witnesses after secure buildings in two colleges were broken into last week and goods to the estimated value of £6,700 were stolen.In one of the incidents, the burglar climbed through the window of graduate student Andrew Whitby’s room in the Balliol College-owned Jowett Walk Buildings and left with £6,000 worth of personal belongings.Danny Donovan, of Thames Valley Police, told Cherwell that these included an SLR camera, high quality lenses, a laptop, watches and footwear.The burglar entered Whitby’s ground-floor room at some point between 7:40 pm and 1:10 am on the night of 30 October, when the student was not in.In a separate incident at Brasenose college on Tuesday 26 October, second-year student Ben Stafford had his laptop stolen from the college library.A message sent by JCR President Paul Gladwell to Brasenose students stated that “the lodge has used CCTV to confirm the offender was from outside of college and are working with the police.”Stafford had left his laptop unattended in the library, which, he told Cherwell, was “fairly normal” behaviour, although he added that “the college does send frequent emails advising against this”.“Loss of work is obviously a kick in the teeth,” he said.The Balliol student who was robbed is a Warden of the residence where the theft took place, and is employed by the college to support those living in Jowett. He reflected that the burglary represented a blow to his “photography hobby”, but described his reaction as no different to “anyone who’s had all their stuff stolen”.last_img

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