Campus safer place, co-ordinator reports UBC Reports
April 16, 1998

Campus safer place, co-ordinator reports

by Hilary Thomson
Staff writer

The incidence of personal crimes reported to the UBC RCMP detachment has dropped from 1996 levels, according to the annual report recently released by personal security co-ordinator Paul Wong.

"There were reductions in all crimes against persons except for indecent acts, which showed an increase from six incidents in 1996 to 20 last year," says Wong.

Wong emphasizes that the data provided by the university RCMP detachment encompass not only UBC, but the University Endowment Lands, Wreck Beach and Pacific Spirit Park. Information specific to UBC is being provided by the RCMP as of January 1998.

Better lighting is just one of the improvements brightening UBC's personal safety picture according to the report.

"I know there's a perception that the campus is unsafe at night," says Wong. "Even though there are few incidents of reported crime, it's important that people feel secure on campus, especially after dark."

About $200,000 was spent last year on 47 new lights installed on Crescent Road, West Mall from Biological Sciences Road to University Boulevard and surrounding Koerner Library. There were upgrades to 12 lights in the area between the Museum of Anthropology and Mary Bollert Hall.

Other 1997 safety measures included emergency telephones in elevators. Five new systems were installed as a pilot project in the MacMillan Building, the Music Building, Woodward Instructional Resources Centre, the Biological Sciences Building and Woodward Library.

Student peer educators from the Women Students' Office introduced an educational program aimed at increasing the awareness of harm caused by excessive drinking. The CD-ROM program, called Alcohol 101, takes the viewer into a virtual party where he or she can make choices for characters on issues such as alcohol-related violence and unplanned sex.

This year the Ministry of Advanced Education, Training and Technology has allotted $370,000 for safer campuses initiatives. The Personal Security Advisory Committee, which represents students, faculty and staff, decides how the funds will be distributed.

Plans include new lighting for less-travelled pedestrian routes in the area between Main Mall and Totem Park residences. Lights will be installed from Biological Sciences Road to West Parkade, from the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Building to B lot, from Frederic Wood Theatre to the Lasserre Building and from the First Nations Longhouse to Fraser Parkade and the Asian Centre.

There will be about $100,000 allocated to lighting the dark areas of campus, such as the area around SUB and in C2 and B4 parking lots, as identified in the 1997 Alma Mater Society safety audit.

Fourteen blue security phones, four Security Bus shelters and 25 elevator emergency phones are also slated for purchase.

Campus Security received almost 9,500 calls for service in 1997, mostly relating to alarms, unsecured buildings and parking enforcement.

For more information about personal security issues, contact the office of the personal security co-ordinator at 604-822-6210 or e-mail