Friday 15 December, 2017

UWI students in fear after spate of campus robberies

The University of the West Indies, St Augustine is taking measures to ensure the safety of students on campus after several reports of robberies taking place in recent weeks. 

In a release, Campus Deputy Principal, Professor Indar Ramnarine, acknowledged that three students were robbed while on campus in the vicinity of the tennis courts. 

The incidents were reported to Campus Security and the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) and are being investigated. 

Professor Ramnarine said that Campus Security is constantly reviewing measures to make the campus safer and that additional patrols will be carried out in order to ensure campus safety, especially on the west side of the campus. 

One student related the terror-stricken moment after she was robbed on Monday while on campus. She said she prefers to remain anonymous for safety reasons. 

She said she was walking around 8:00 pm from her class to meet her mother and noted that the tennis courts were lit and that there were people on the court, so she decided to walk through the parks near the tennis court.

The robber then stepped onto the path and reportedly threatened to kill her if she screamed, robbing her at gunpoint of her mobile phone and a quantity of cash. 

The terrified student ran to her classroom where she had been only moments before, recounting the incident to her lecturer, and then made a report with Campus Security. 

"Ideally, each student should feel safe walking through the campus. Ideally, a man should not be allowed to walk in campus armed with a gun. Ideally, I should have met my family within 5 minutes after making the call that I was leaving class now. Ideally, I should not have the thoughts of being raped, robbed and killed running through my mind. Ideally, my family should not have to experience the terror of not knowing what is happening with me because time was passing and all calls to my phone were going unanswered. Ideally, my lecturer should not have a hysterical student running into his classroom, crying that she was held at gunpoint and was threatened with her life. Ideally, I should feel safe going to classes on campus. Ideally I should not even be writing this post," said the student in a social media post. 

She said she is hoping that Campus Security and the UWI Guild of Students can work together to ensure that there are no further incidents.