Burglaries in SJC and Hilda’s

first_imgA burglary in St Hilda’s has led to a finalist’s laptop being stolen, containing all their exam notes and almost completed coursework. In a similar incident, a burglary on St John’s College property led to phones, a laptop and money being stolen last Wednesday.Questions are now being asked about the safety of the College-owned accommodation.The Hilda’s burglary took place on Tuesday evening, when third-year English student Lauren Carter, who lives in the Christina Barratt Building, left her room unlocked and went to “get some fresh air”. When she returned her laptop was gone.“I’m the kind of person who does everything on their laptop,” she said. The computer contained incomplete coursework, and “the proctors won’t give me an extension.”Carter said she did not know why her room was targeted. “You can’t just come into college and see it, you have to know your way around college. It is on the third floor.”However, another student who lives in the same building questioned the college’s security policy. “It’s very poor,” she said. “Anyone can walk into this building. This has happened several times around college now. Everywhere else has fobs – they should definitely improve security.”Dr Margaret Kean, the Dean of the college, circulated an email among students warning them “to be both extra vigilant and extra careful with your belongings.”The St John’s incident on Wednesday took place in College owned houses. The victim of the burglary was a second year student.A Thames Valley Police Spokesperson confirmed the incident. Two mobile phones, a laptop and money were stolen. The spokesperson also said that the laptop was left on a desk in clear view of a window. The spokesperson told Oxford students to be “vigilant” and to make sure that valuables are put away when students leave their rooms.This serious incident has raised concern among St John’s students. JCR President Martha Mackenzie, speaking the day after the crime said, “This is an upsetting incident which has been very distressing for all involved.”She added, “This easily could happen to someone else.”The burglary has lead to a security review at St John’s, conducted by the Head Porter. The JCR committee are calling for the review to be held as soon as possible.As the richest college in Oxford, St John’s has many individual properties that it lets out to students.This is unlike the arrangements of other colleges such as Merton, Brasenose and New College who have annexes where students can live. In such situations, the responsibility of securing this property falls with the Colleges themselves who employ security staff and porters to police the accommodation.last_img

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