DASO NMU addresses student safety issues

IN July, Nelson Mandela University’s protection services reported that laptops and high-tech phones remained objects of desire that were being targeted, making students easy pickings on and off campus.

In one of these incidents a student was attacked in a drive-by robbery in Rubin Crescent, but thanks to the speedy assistance of a passing taxi driver, he was assisted. The stolen cellphone was recovered and one of the suspects arrested and handed to the SAPS to face charges of robbery and aggravated assault.

“Drawing strength from last year, we have been able to advocate for multiple advanced cameras around the community to strengthen sight of crime activities,” the DASO institutional committee said in a media statement.

“We have also approved funding to extend internal CCTV coverage upon identified hotspots in the university campuses,” the statement read.

“We have been notified of a 90% complete installation of an emergency tower. This tower will have cameras in multiple dimensions, a high intensity light and an emergency push button.

“This tower will be linked to the university’s control room and will be frequently monitored. There are already 11 cameras around Summerstrand which are successfully linked to the Nelson Mandela University’s control room. These cameras will also be linked to Atlas’s control room.”

NMU is also investigating the usage of a wristband that can be linked to a cellphone for students to use during emergency periods.

DASO has called for the erection of proper fencing around campuses to curb uncontrolled access.

“We advocate for the installation of turnstile gates at all the campuses as safe access points into our institution and increased CCTV surveillance across all campuses (particularly Missionvale Campus). We need improved lighting across all campuses and off campus, and also 24-hour improved police visibility.”

DASO called on all NMU students to “join the fight and advocate for a safe campus for all, a campus in which every person has the right, the space and the capability to be himself, develop herself and pursue his or her own aspirations as an individual.

“Over the next two weeks we will be visiting all our campuses and residences, engaging with students to support our call and sign a petition. This will be submitted to the office of the vice-chancellor, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, as well as the SAPS,” the statement read.

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