True Crime on Campus #57: More lockdown surprises

Paul Greatrix has yet more true crime stories from the campus security front line.

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

University campuses have been strangely quiet places during the first and latest lockdowns but there is still a lot going on. Our outstanding (and award-winning) Security Team have been part of the on campus presence at the University of Nottingham to ensure the safety of staff and students who are on site.

Security staff have to cope with a range of strange goings on at the best of times but lockdown means that there have been some rather different and odd incidents to deal with including yet another close encounter with a deer and an attempted parachute jumper. These are far from easy times for Security staff though – things may be generally quieter but they are very much in the frontline of coping with the pandemic and addressing challenging behaviour and breaches of the rules wherever they occur. It’s difficult work but is enormously appreciated by colleagues across the University.

We’ve been sharing highlights from campus crime reports for over a decade now and you can find part one of the best of the best here and part two here if you missed them.

But here then are the latest reports (including some from when it was a bit warmer than it is now)

16:45 Report of a person removing wooden pallets from outside Hall. When challenged, the person claimed to have been given permission via a Facebook Marketplace listing. The person then left the area before further enquiries could be made. Security to follow up.

15:05 Report of a person hunting with a hawk at Sutton Bonington Campus; it was confirmed that this was not authorised at that time. The person left campus by themselves. Site Security Manager informed.

15:00 Report of 3 persons playing golf outside Hall, one of whom hit a ball which ricocheted into a contractor’s van. No immediate damage was noted, the individual who had hit the offending ball apologised.

23:55 Security received a report that two students were firing a bow and arrow in the rear courtyard of Hall. Security attended. Bow and arrow confiscated. Details to Hall Warden.

08:15 Report that a student had been followed on Cut Through Lane by an unknown person driving a car, who drove onto the pavement, blocking their path, and proceeded to ask if there were “any jobs”. Security to follow up with the Police.

23:40 Security attended Hall as a student had hurt her foot and knocked her toenail off, bruising her toe from walking in the corridor. Security gave advice on keeping the area around the toe clean and covered.

17:55 Report of a drunk person laying outside the Advanced Manufacturing Building, surrounded by beer cans. When Security attended, no person or cans could be located.

01:55 Report of three persons riding electric scooters on Beeston Lane. The group were shouting at passers-by and producing electronic noises. Security to follow up.

20:25 Security received a report from the Building Attendant at Hall reporting that there was somebody fire dancing on the Downs, University Park Campus. On arrival it was established that the individual was a professional fire dancer who usually practices on local parks. Security advised her that she was not allowed to perform or practice on Campus without the written permission from the University. She accepted this and left Campus, there was no damage to University grounds.

1653 Report of a Deer in Beeston Lane area, Security attended, staff from Wollaton Hall attended. A Vet from the RSPCA attended and assisted by Security was able to track the Deer down and tranquilize it. The Deer was returned to Wollaton Park unharmed.

14:50 Security received a report of a student up a tree trying to retrieve a football outside Hall, University Park Campus. Security attended and got the student to climb down.

16:10 Security received a call from a member of the public complaining that whilst he was sitting on a bench near the DHL toilets, a male nearly rode into him whilst doing a ‘wheelie’ on a pedal cycle. Security explained there was a ‘no cycling’ on weekdays sign, but the member of public insisted the incident is reported through the correct channels so that measures could be implemented to stop people from cycling there at all times. Details to Safety Office.

03:10 Security reported a noise from the side of the Xu Yafen Building, Jubilee Campus. Security went to investigate and witnessed a movement from the interior of the Aspire sculpture. Security called for the person to come down immediately. The person descended the structure via ropes and identified himself, he was not a member of the University. The male was carrying what looked to be a rucksack but explained that it was a parachute and that he had intended to jump off the top. The male was advised not to make any further attempts to climb the structure and was asked to leave site. Security to follow up.

15:13 During a routine patrol Security were alerted to a large wooden pole in bushes near to near to Cavendish Hall. A member of the public said they had seen some youths rip the pole from the area around the bin store in order to retrieve a football. Security are to follow up, reported to Estates Helpdesk.

11:00 Report of damage to the water feature outside the Si Yuan Building. This is thought to be the result of people skateboarding in the area. Estates Helpdesk informed, Security to follow up.

14:31 Whilst on patrol Security found a Drone on the ground at the top of the Downs, University Park. Drone removed and with Security.

19:45 Report of two individuals fishing near to the Dearing Building. Two fish were returned to the lake, and the individuals left campus.

00:41 Security attended a fire alarm activation. On investigation the cause was found to be a cobweb covering the sensor in the kitchen. The area was checked, and the alarm was reset.

17:15 Report of youths pushing the Newark Hall barrier. Security attended the youths were told to leave campus.

17:45 Report of a large number of youths drinking at the rear of Hall. Security attended and asked the youths to leave. All complied, and were seen to collect up and dispose of their litter in a nearby bin.

15:40 Security spoke to a group of parents who were letting their children paddle in the lake next to Jubliee Conference Centre.

15:55 Security received a report that a young male wearing a skull mask was riding around on a mountain bike and being verbally abusive at the DHL Arts Centre area. Security attended and there was no sign of the male. Security to follow up.

12:10 Security released a student’s pedal cycle from the Hallward Library Cycle Store to the student’s parent, who had travelled to campus to collect it.

20:00 Report that a bin from outside Computer Science had been thrown in the lake. Helpdesk informed.

1500 Patrol Security Officer found advertising for facemasks had been stuck to bins on University Park, the advertising was removed.

1830 Security were contacted by a resident in Hall who had ordered a pizza but was not able to collect it from the delivery person. Security attended, collected the pizza, and delivered it to the resident.

If you’ve enjoyed this or any of the previous editions of True Crime on Campus then you’ll be keen to get hold of the moderately popular book of the same name, now available at a bargain price. You can order it for only a quid (yes, just £1, plus postage) directly from the University of Nottingham online shop or from Amazon if you prefer as well as on Kindle for only £1.99.

The book includes an outstanding selection of the many hundreds of bizarre, unfortunate, inexplicable and just plain weird campus crime reports have appeared over the years. It really remains the ideal lockdown companion and this is probably your last chance to buy before we run out.

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