This article is more than 7 years old

True Crime on Campus §50: Best of the Best Part 1

True Crime on Campus has been going for a while now. To save anyone having to read all previous 49 editions we've collected all the best ones here. Truly the golden years of Campus Crime
This article is more than 7 years old

Paul Greatrix is Registrar at The University of Nottingham, author and creator of Registrarism and a Contributing Editor of Wonkhe.

For the landmark 50th edition of True Crime on Campus, several people picked their favourite incidents from down the years. I’ve included these with all of the others which I think are particularly special. There are though so many of these they’ve been divided into two posts. Part 2 will be along shortly.

Year in year out our outstanding security staff have had to cope with a huge number of challenging situations the best of which have been recorded here in 49 editions of True Crime on Campus. Of course, as the security website shows, they deal with much more than these highlights including:

  • Best practice advice on crime prevention and detection including administration of the CCTV systems
  • Responding to calls for service, provision of routine patrols, checking, locking and unlocking buildings.
  • Out of hours responsibility for emergency contractor call out.
  • Investigation of complaints in relation to staff, visitor and student behaviour and disciplinary proceedings.
  • Administration and enforcement of the traffic management policies, including the issue of car parking permits.
  • Management of keys, including the ordering, cutting and supplying, for the whole of the University.
  • Recording, safekeeping and disposal of all found property.
  • Provision of University Card support, including enquiry desk and helpline.
  • Overseeing the production of new and replacement University Cards, access rights and door schedules.
  • Sound level monitoring of events and parties.

Similar services are performed by Security teams at universities across the sector. All of us who work in HE have much to be thankful to them for.

So, on to the highlights, which I’ve grouped thematically (and arguably pointlessly).

Erroneous reports

1531 Report of a male sawing the lock off a Pedal Cycle adjacent to Hallward Library. Uniformed and Covert Security Officers attended the male was stopped and spoken to. The male, a Student, had in fact been using a pump to blow up his tyres and not, as had been reported, sawing the lock off.

1945 Officer observed a male acting suspiciously on Melton Lane adjacent to the new greenhouse development. Officer challenged the male who became abusive and aggressive. Security Officers were asked to attend. The male explained that he was a plane spotter and was using the dark on Melton Lane to get clear footage of the incoming planes.

2044 Report of a body lying on the grass at the side of College Road. Security attended and on arrival Officers found a number of people lying on the grass. They were all star gazing and lying down was the most comfortable way to do it.

1840 Report of a suspicious package in Nottingham Medical School – Security attended and after checking the package removed it from the building. On examination, the package was found to contain a tin of gravy granules.

Wonkhe Gravy granules

0905 Report that Conference Delegates in Hall had items stolen from their rooms. Security attended – it was discovered that the Delegates were on the wrong floor of the Hall. All items were safe in their rooms.

Beasts of UoN

1210 Report that a Resident had a mouse in the flat. They stated that they had caught the mouse and put it outside but it kept coming back in. Security attended. Estates Help Desk to be informed.

02:30 Security at Sutton Bonington reported that there was a small group of sheep that were on the loose along the road near Future Crops. Other staff members assisted with rounding the sheep together.

1233 Report of a goose with a limp adjacent to the Lakeside Highfield Lake. Security attended, but the goose could not be located.

1620 Report of an aggressive horse loose in the area adjacent to Sutton Bonington Campus. Security and Police with the assistance of staff from the Vet School were able to get the horse into a field and secure it there. The owner of the Horse has yet to be identified.

Not the horse in question

0800 Report of a male with a rifle adjacent to Lenton and Wortley Hall, Security attended the area was searched the male could not be located. On the 16/05/15 at approximately 0800 Security Officers were in this area on observations to see if the male returned. The male was seen stopped and spoken to by Security. The rifle was, in fact, a camera with a telephoto lens. The male was a member of Staff who had been asked to take photographs for a University Calendar and was trying to photograph a Woodpecker.

1830 Report of a Robin in the Kitchens in Portland Building. Staff requested Pest Control – the Robin was encouraged to leave without the use of Pest Control Staff.

0200 Report of a cat in the Pope Building. Security attended and removed the cat.

0845 Request for Security to attend an office in Trent Building. A member of staff had a pigeon in his office, which would not leave. Security attended and the pigeon was escorted from the building.

0210 Report of a Tarantula Spider in a room in Hall. Security attended and were told the Spider had gone under the bed. After a careful search by Security Officers, a small house spider was captured and removed from Campus. The occupant of the room confirmed that the spider was the one they had seen.

2215 Report of a pigeon hiding behind a sofa in the Amenities Building Jubilee Campus. Security attended, and the pigeon was removed from the Building.

Very good at hiding

1753 Request from a resident of Abbey House to remove a large bee from under a sheet in their flat. Security attended, and the bee was removed.

1950 Request from resident regarding birds in his chimney. Security attended and the bird – a Jackdaw – was apprehended by Officers. The Jackdaw was released by Officers after being removed from the House. At the request of the occupant, Contractors were called out to board up the fireplace.

1340 Report of a male strangling Ducks at the Jubilee Campus. Officers attended and spoke to the male who denied it. There was no evidence to confirm the report. The male was told to leave Campus.

1639 Report of a pigeon in Business School North, Security attended and escorted the pigeon from the Building.

People do the strangest things

1100 Report of a strange man walking around the Music School playing a Guitar. Security attended – no one matching that description was found.

2338 Patrol Security Officers spoke to the occupants of two vehicles which were parked in the car park adjacent to Law and Social Science. The occupants stated that they had parked there to watch the Helicopters. As there are no Helicopter flights during the hours of darkness, the occupants were told to leave Campus.

1240 Report that a Student had been seen urinating into a Photocopier in Hall the previous evening. Security attended. The Student has been identified and admitted to urinating into the machine. The Hall Warden is to be informed.

1015 Report of a male talking to a wall at the rear of the Biology Building. Security attended and spoke to the male. The male identified himself as a member of Staff – he stated that he was working through a Mathematical problem and would be returning to his office after his lunch.

14:53 Students observed on Golf Buggy driving around Campus. Students advised to remove vehicle from Campus. Security to follow up.

Wonkhe Golf Buggy

0128 Patrol Security Officers observed a vehicle being driven dangerously in Newark Hall car park. Officers stopped the vehicle and spoke to the driver who is a Student. Officers also spoke to the owner of the vehicle who is also a Student. The reason given for the dangerous driving was “letting off exam stress” – both Students will be reported to the Head of Security.

15:45 Security received a report regarding the parking at Cripps Hall. On investigation, Security found cars parked on the grass and a group of Students having a party with a swimming pool and water slide. After talking to the group, they said they had got permission from the hall porter to do this. The hall porter was contacted and permission was not given. Students removed the pool and slide.

Sporting chances

2316 Report that a Tutor had been Rugby tackled by a student outside the Hall. The Student was part of the American Football team who were having a Social event. Details of two of the group have been taken and will be passed onto the Warden.

1750 Report of children swimming in the fountain adjacent to the Humanities Building Security attended and asked the children to get out of the water and not to swim in there.

1225 Report of a person with a suspected broken ankle on the Downs. Security attended. While dealing with the injured person, another person fell injuring their ankle. Both Students were taken to Hospital by Ambulance. Both Students were injured while playing Quidditch.

Yet another Quidditch injury

Yet another Quidditch injury

1450 Security were requested to Highfields Sports Ground where a football team were abusing the referee. Security attended and spoke to a team from Nottingham Trent University – they were told to calm down.

2230 Report of noise coming from the Quidditch Match being played at the rear of Lincoln Hall. Security attended and spoke to the players.

More injuries

1345 Report of a member of staff with peppermint in their eye on the Science Site. Security attended. The member of Staff washed their eye out and felt better.

2310 Report that a Student in Hall was unresponsive and had signs of being in a fight. Security attended on arrival Officers spoke to the Student. The Student was drunk and was covered in red paint which was mistaken for the signs of being in a fight. The Student vomited and felt better. He stated that he wanted to sleep. Officers made arrangements for the Tutor to check on the Student.

1200 Report that a Scrabble player required an Ambulance due to tripping over in the Barn. Security attended and Ambulance attended the person was taken to Hospital.

0645 Report of a Student with burns to their arm, Security attended. On arrival Officers spoke to the Student who stated that they had made a Pot Noodle for breakfast. The Student had placed the Pot Noodle on a window sill and then knocked it over themselves causing the burns. An Ambulance was called and attended the Student was taken to Hospital. The Hall Warden is to be informed.

0858 Report that a Student had collapsed at Hall – Security attended. The Student was on her feet when Security arrived. The Student stated that she had cut her finger and fainted.

0343 A student contacted the Security Control room for advice on how to treat a black eye. Security attended. The student stated that they had been struck in the eye by a flying chicken nugget while in McDonald’s in the City. Security checked the eye and gave advice.

Wonkhe mcnuggets

0305 Report that a Conference Delegate had cut himself shaving and required First Aid. Security attended and provided First Aid. The Delegate did not require further medical attention.

0115 Report of two residents with painful ankles following dancing in the Mooch bar. The residents asked if Security could take them back to the Hall in a Security vehicle – both residents taken back to the Hall.

Uh oh!

2045 Report of people starting fires on Charnock Avenue. Security attended and the Camp fires were found to have been started by the local Scout Group.

1500 Report of a Student with knives in his room in Hall, Security attended and spoke to the Student. The knives were shown to Security and confiscated. The Hall Warden is to be informed. When asked why he had the knives he stated that he likes knives.

0100 Report of a Student in Hall with a firearm. Security attended on speaking to the Student concerned it was found to be a controller for a gaming system. The person who contacted Security had seen the Student playing their game in their room.

1750 A member of the Public contacted the Security Control room stating that he was very angry that the University wanted to cut down the Oak Trees adjacent to the Sports Centre. That caller was lucky they didn’t put him through to the Sports Centre…

The trees which some seemed to prefer to a £40m Sports Village

1050 Request from the Police for information about a Student. The reason for the request was that the Student’s house was on fire. The information was provided to the Police and the Off Campus Support team have been informed.

1635 Report of a disturbance involving a group of Students adjacent to Portland Building, Security attended and on arrival they found the Vice Chancellor calming the situation down. After speaking to the Students concerned they were allowed to leave. The matter is to be reported to the Compliance and Investigations Manager.

1630 Patrol Security Officers spoke to a Student who was setting off Air Powered Rockets adjacent to Chemistry Building. The Student stated that he had been given approval however due to where the rockets were landing the Student was told to stop. Security are to follow up.

1635 Report of a male on the roof of Trent Building. Security attended and spoke to the male who stated he was free running. The male was told to leave and not to go back on the building roof.

1545 The Porter of Hall reported that a sofa was on the roof of the Porters Lodge and that Estates would remove tomorrow.


11:30 Security were informed that a tree was on fire in the Hugh Stewart Quad area. On arrival the tree was well ablaze, Fire Service were called and put out the fire. Fire Safety Officer informed.

1940 Report that a group of children had wrapped string around the legs of a Student as they walked along the pathway adjacent to DHL. Security attended the area was checked the children could not be located.

1220 Patrol Security observed a small child on a tricycle fall into the Lake at Jubilee Campus. The child’s Grandfather got the child out and the Officer was able to get the child’s cycle out of the water. The child was unhurt, just wet. They were taken home by the Grand parent.

1140 Report of a male by Highfields Lake with a Sword. Security attended. On arrival, Officers spoke to a number of Students from a re-enactment Society and informed them of the concerns which had been raised. Students’ Union to be informed of Police request to be notified of any further such meetings in this area.

Wonkhe pile of swords

Caution – sharp edges

22:15 Security were called to Hall as someone was in the bar with a bag of ten swords. The student claimed that they were used in traditional English dance and he brought them onto Campus to promote this. Security removed swords as they could be used as weapons. Warden informed. Security to follow up.

21:10 It was reported that a group of Students had been seen in fancy dress complete with a baseball bat. Security located the Students in Hall bar, Security approached the Student with the baseball bat and advised him it was not an ideal accessory for a night out. Student was told he could collect it in the morning from the Security Office. Student was apologetic and polite throughout.

Up next – Part 2 with many more True Crime on Campus highlights

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