A second-year female UWI student was sitting on a bench near the Alma Jordan library on Feb. 25 at approximately 9:30 pm when she was robbed of her belongings by two men. The student was waiting for the library to open its 24hr section so that she could study there.
The incident occurred when the victim got up to throw something in a nearby dustbin. At that moment two Indian men, one with a blonde mohawk, (as described by an onlooker) moved swiftly behind her and snatched her bag and ran. The bag contained most of her everyday items, including a laptop. Fortunately, her phone was in her pocket and not her bag so the robbers did not get it.
After the incident the student telephoned the “charge room” or security office to report what had just happened. She explained the case to the person on the phone but was told she would have to come over to the office in person.
“So, I ran! In the dark scared by myself to the charge room to make a report”
the student said. Then, after waiting in the office for thirty minutes a UWI-guard proceeded to take down the girl’s information. She says that the guard did attempt to comfort her and after taking her information, dropped her home.
Luckily, the student did receive a call on Tuesday morning stating that the UWI guards had managed to find her laptop and UWI identification card, which were abandoned somewhere on campus. However, the laptop is now in worse condition (almost unrecognizable) and all of the files, programmes, and hard work was deleted from the system. The guard informed the student not to worry and said that it is most likely a prank that one of her friends is playing on her. The guard then told her to look around the campus for her bag and other belongings as her friends probably dumbed the rest of her things elsewhere.
This incident was mentioned to the UWI Guild students’ complaints committee via their Facebook page. The story has given a bit of new light to the claims that were made in October last year, by students, regarding the lack of proper security on campus. These original claims were made by students after a female student was robbed in the Student Activity Centre during the day in that same month. This led to a student uproar and subsequent protest where students blocked the university’s southern entrance in an attempt to shut down the campus. During that protest two students were arrested.
In response to these initial problems of last year, UWI’s administration says it has taken further measures to promote safety on campus. The admin claims that the amount of security has been beefed up. With this they have also been promoting an application called resQ which when triggered sends a location to the appropriate officials.
In the robbery case that occurred on Monday however, the victim, although she had the application, did not use the button.
“I didn’t trigger the resQ button because I had my phone with me. When triggered it opens on my phone. However, if they had stolen my phone it probably would have been effective.”
James David Lanser is the editor and founder of 868 Media. He is a 21-year-old Trinidadian born writer and journalist whose work typically explores social, economic, political and cultural themes. To contact James, you can email: firstname.lastname@example.org