Campus CCTV ‘not fit for purpose’
A postgraduate student from the School of Maths and Life Sciences contacted The Badger about his stolen laptop and jacket. He claims that the theft took place in a ‘secure office’ in Pevensey 3, which is intended exclusively for use by postgraduate students. The laptop was particularly valuable because it contained his “important thesis files and personal files”.
The student was told CCTV cameras within the building are no longer fit for purpose, and that the school has neither the funds nor the resources to set up and monitor such cameras. This is the case for several CCTV cameras around campus, the Head of Security for Sussex University has confirmed. At least one student has had their belongings stolen only to find that the nearby camera was outdated.
According to the student, this led to Sussex police dropping the case due to a lack of evidence and the inability of the school to provide any footage. The thefts date back to 2016, but The Badger has recently been contacted by the University’s Head of Security who confirmed that the cameras do not work.
“There is no functioning CCTV [in Pevensey 2] … There are one or two old cameras that were installed and operated many years ago and which have been left in place as a mild deterrent,” the School Administrator of Mathematical and Physical Sciences told The Badger. The Administrator also seemed aware of the thefts and told The Badger: “As a School we have installed code locks and SALTO access to the buildings… The particular room in question is installed with a key code lock so should not be accessible to anybody without knowledge of the code, unless the door had not closed properly or was wedged open.”
Allegedly, the school does not “presently have the capacity to monitor the [cameras], maintain equipment, store data and so on for all of the many corridors, offices and labs around the School.” However, the Head of Security has emphasised the ‘extensive network throughout the campus of internal and external cameras’, and that ‘new installations are … undertaken at the appropriate time.’ The Badger has contacted the University for comment about the issue as the safety of students is potentially at risk.
The postgraduate student commented that: “the security of the students belongs [sic] is under the [sic] threat”. He also requested to send a group email to students and faculty to warn them of his experiences but was told this would be ‘inappropriate’ by the School.
The School Administrator also added: “The Security Office on the campus does not operate CCTV of the interior of academic buildings on campus. “They are responsible for the exterior CCTV… We get handed a lot of lost property, including expensive items such as mobile phones, and we are pleased that people take the time to hand in things for other people, it is sad that this has not happened in your [this] case.”