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Ten Years of True Crime on Campus – All the best bits part 2

Paul Greatrix is back with part two of the very, very best of 10 years of True Crime on Campus.
This article is more than 3 years old

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

As noted last week, it is hard to believe that 10 years ago saw the first ever edition of True Crime on Campus.

If you are unfamiliar with the series, True Crime on Campus is a collection of the bizarre, unfortunate, inexplicable and just plain weird extracts from genuine University campus security reports at the University of Nottingham which I’ve collected over the years.

Whilst I find most of these to be at least a little bit amusing our exceptional, award-winning and extremely hard-working security team has to deal with a large number of difficult and challenging situations day in, day out which really aren’t funny for anyone involved. It’s vital work, often unnoticed by staff, students or visitors, and critical for the effective functioning of the university and good campus life.

From unexplained noises to tiger incidents and from pirate trouble makers to people trapped in lifts it really is all happening on campus. People often do the strangest things too. And then there are the many and varied forms of animal life to cope with.

One things for sure with all the very real happenings on campus life is never dull for anyone. Anyway, here is part two of a retrospective of the very best of 10 years of True Crime on Campus. Some of these are old favourites but there are a few previously unpublished ones too.

I hope you like them.

Suspicious activity

1310 Report that someone had fallen into a hedge on Lancroft Lane and could not get out. Security attended and the area was searched. There was no sign of anyone in a hedge.
01:33 Security were called to Hall, Jubilee as three students were acting suspiciously. On arrival three students were taking kettles from around the hall and placing them around the corridors. Warden informed.
2120 Report that a cannabis plant had been found at BGP, security attended and collected the plant which on examination is not a cannabis plant.
0100 Report that damage had been done in a kitchen in Normanton House Sutton Bonington. The person concerned was dressed as a Tiger and after throwing food and smashing some plates left before they could be identified.
0730 Report from a member of the Public that they had found a pair of lungs and a windpipe on grass adjacent to the Lakeside footpath at Jubilee Campus while walking their dog. They stated that they had picked them up put them in a dog poo bag and put them in the bin. Security also checked the area nothing further could be located.
00:50 Security attended Hall to a report of someone banging on a resident’s door and making silly noises. It is thought that a practical joker may have recently moved into the hall. Hall Warden informed.
22:30 Security were informed that a group of students dressed as tigers were threatened by a male in a blue car. The students had shaken a stuffed whale at the car, the car stopped and the driver got out of the vehicle and walked towards his boot to get something out. The passenger had stopped him and then they drove off. Security made a search of the campus but car was not found.

0048 Report of a person dressed in green, possibly a Ninja Turtle, in Portland Building attempting to gain entry to the Portland Cafe. Security attended. The cafe doors had been forced open but at present it is not clear if anything had been stolen. Security are to follow up.
1230 Report that a fishbowl with fish intestines had been left at the reception of Biomolecular Science, Security attended and are to follow up.

Worse for wear

0005 Report that a guest in Cripps Annexe could not find his room. The guest had been drinking, Officers attended and the guest stated he was in room 9. Officers looked at his key and showed the guest he was in room 6 – he had the key fob upside down.
2105 Report of a male lying on the ground near to the Lodges on Beeston Lane. Security attended on arrival the male was sitting up. He stated that he was a member of staff but had felt a bit “wonky” after attending a formal event at a Hall of Residence. Security took the male home as he was still unsteady on his feet.
0355 Report of a female Conference Delegate feeling unwell in Hall. Security attended. The female stated she had drunk a large amount of a Caffeine based drink. An organiser from the Conference was contacted and asked to sit with the Delegate.
2245 Report of a dead body on the footpath adjacent to the Swimming Pool. Security and Police attended. On arrival a male was found to be drunk and unconscious. The male was woken up and spoken to. He confirmed his details and stated that he had been to a works party on Campus and had far too much to drink. This was confirmed by his line manager. The male was taken home for his own safety by the Police.
09:30 [Note the time] Security asked a group of youths to leave Jubilee Campus as they were drinking brandy. Security removed the bottle and escorted them towards the gate where they were joined by more youths and they were all getting rowdy. Security called for assistance and the youths soon left Campus.
0040 Security Officer at Sutton Bonington Campus spoke to a Police Officer who stated that they were looking for a Drink Driver. The Police Officer drove into Campus and drove around car park 3. Unfortunately the Officer reversed into a wall damaging the Police vehicle. Security are to follow up regarding possible damage to the wall.

Finders keepers

1205 Report of the theft of a Pedal Cycle from adjacent to DHL, Security attended and spoke to the Student. The Student’s cycle had been found insecure by Security and removed to a secure area. The cycle was returned to the Student. When asked why he had not secured his cycle he replied that he was properly late for a class.
1217 Report of a person on the roof of Portland Building, Security attended. The person was located by Officers and they were identified as a Student. They claimed to have been playing hide and seek. The Compliance and Investigations Manager is to be informed.
2045 Report of a student with a cut to his face in the Portland Building. Security Officers attended and gave First Aid. The student reported that he had been playing Hide and Seek as part of an event with the Hide and Soc Society when he had banged his face while hiding behind a chair. An accident form will be submitted.
2010 Report of a large number of students running around the Trent Building. Security Officers attended. The students explained that they were playing hide and seek. The Hide and Seek Society President was found by Officers and spoken to. Officers conducted a search of the building and located all the other hiding students. I understand that Officers declined their turn to go and hide
1505 Security were asked to check areas of the Science Site as a member of the Public has lost the Deeds to their house in the area.

Yet more Beasts of UoN

1550 Report of a pigeon in Ingenuity Building, Security attended, and the pigeon was escorted from the building.
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.
0100 Patrol Security Officers were informed that a duck was in the Life Science Quad and could not get out. Officers were able to walk the duck through the building and out towards Highfields Lake.
0200 Report of a cat in the Pope Building. Security attended and removed the cat.
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.
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.
2105 Report of a lost puppy adjacent to Hall, Security Officers were asked to look out for the animal.
1310 Report of sheep escaped from a field adjacent to Sutton Bonington Campus. Security attended the Farm Manager was contacted. The Sheep do not belong to the University – the owner was contacted and informed.
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.
2354 Intruder alarm Hallward Library. Cause of activation due to a bat having flown into the area. Security attended. Officers were able to get the bat to leave the Building.
1510 A member of the public contacted Security asking if Officers had seen his cat. Officers were given a description and asked to contact the person if their cat is seen.The person was on their way home from the PDSA when they stopped on Highfields Park. The cat was able to escape and run off.
1310 Report that there was a dog in Highfield Lake in distress. Security attended and on arrival Officers observed a male with the dog. The male was spoken to and confirmed he was the owner and he had jumped into the lake to save his dog.
2330 Report of a live goldfish in a toilet in Trent Building, Security attended and removed the goldfish from the u-bend. Officers took the goldfish to the Millennium Gardens and released it into the water feature.

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.
0755, 1323 A male contacted the Security Control room stating that he had discovered the meaning of life and urgently needed to speak to a Professor in Physics. After discussing the matter at length with Security the person’s details have been passed onto the Police to carry out a welfare check.
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.

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.

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.
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.

Library rules

15:00 Security were called to George Green Library as an altercation had been reported with two Students. It was reported that one student was threatening to throw a chair at the other student after personal property had been moved. Security attended and resolved the situation. Student Welfare informed.
0540 Security were asked to speak to a Student who had taken Pizza into George Green Library. Library staff stated that the Student could not take food into the area of the Library they were in. Officers spoke to the Student and the Pizza was left at Reception until the Student left.
1200 Report of a foul smell in Hallward Library, Staff reported that they thought there was a problem with the sewage pipes again. Security attended and the cause of the smell was found to be a member of staff’s lunch. The Estates Plumber who had been called to attend was cancelled.
1535 Report of an altercation in George Green Library, Security attended on arrival Library Staff had separated the Students. Officers spoke to the Students who were arguing about mobile phone chargers. One of the Students had called the Police who attended. The Compliance and Investigations Manager is to be informed.
0450 Report of a group of Students drinking beer and playing loud Music in the Hallward Library. University Security attended and spoke to the Students. They were asked to turn the music off and stop drinking beer. Library Staff to be informed.
1915 Report that a person dressed as a Clown was attempting to scare people adjacent to Hallward Library, Security attended and after a search of the area no Clowns were located.

1000 Report that a Rat had been seen in George Green Library, Security attended Estates Help Desk to be informed.

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.
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.
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.
2030 Report of a Student with an injury to her hand in Hall. Security attended. The Student had bruised one of her fingers while “fooling around” with a friend.
15:35 Patrol security officers spoke to a group of youths who were on the new Portland Hill area. One of the youths had an injury to his ankle after jumping on the steps and falling over. Security spoke to his mother and then took him to hospital.
2330 Report of a Student with a head injury in Hall. Security attended and spoke to the Student who was found to be bleeding from a head wound and was vomiting. An Ambulance was called the Student was taken to Hospital. The Hall Warden is to be informed. The head injury was sustained while kissing another Student and falling backwards. Quality 1st were called out to clean up.
1725 Report of a Student who an injury to his eyes in Hall. Security attended on arrival Officers spoke to the Student who stated that they had mistakenly used a cleaning product rather than Contact lense solution and then put their Contact Lenses in. The Student was taken to Hospital and has sustained some burns to their eyes which should heal in a few days. The Hall Manager and Safety Office are to be informed.
09:44 Report that a conference delegate had suffered explosive diarrhoea and the toilet area required a deep clean. Security attended and closed the toilets until Quality First could clear the mess.
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!

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.
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.
0115 Patrol Security Officers observed a group of Students standing outside Hall in nightwear. Officers investigated an alarm which Students had thought was the fire alarm. It was found to be an Intruder alarm on the Hall Office. The alarm was reset and Students were told they could return to the building.
0030 Security were requested to attend Hall as a Student thought their room had a carbon monoxide issue. Security attended after speaking to the Student it became clear that the Student had purchased a carbon monoxide detector when they tested it the detector it bleeped. The Student thought that this bleeping on testing meant there was carbon monoxide in the room. Officers explained how the alarm worked and why it bleeped on testing.

Very bad behaviour

18:27 Security received a report of two males in a white transit van wearing funny hats and frightening female Med-Link students at Hall. On arrival there was no sign of the males. A further sighting of the van was seen at 19:08hrs outside the Coates Atrium. Security spoke to the occupants who are connected to Med-Link. They admitted that they did mean to scare people and they both apologised and took their hats off. Details to the Head of Security.
2325 Report that a picture had been taken off the wall in a Hall by a Pirate. The Pirate had gone in the direction of the Mooch Bar. Security attended the Mooch where they found over 40 Pirates none of whom had the picture.

2025 Report of a group of 50 Students stealing Microwaves, Ironing Boards and Toasters from Hall. Security attended. The group was located on the Downs and a number of the group were stopped and their details taken. A number of this group were either dressed in their underwear or naked. The Compliance and Investigations Manager is to be informed.
21.15 Report of a group of students with a pig’s head being offensive in a hall of residence. Security stopped the group and removed the head from them. The Warden is to be informed.
12:05 Security attended a report of youths starting fires at Beeston Woods. The fire brigade were in attendance, and two youths had remained at the scene. The youths had been burning their schoolbooks and had been encouraged by their friends doing the same. The youths were very apologetic and remorseful. Details to Safety Office.

That’s all for now. Until the next report…

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