Preventing Theft on Campus is a Community Effort
Thousands of dollars worth of thefts from the university community are reported annually to Campus Police. Most of these losses are not recoverable through insurance. Can we afford these losses? Our Police Service strives to keep our community safe and secure but cannot succeed without your help.
First, consider your environment in general. Your building will be accessible to many individuals after hours. Is your work area in an isolated part of the building or close to an exit? Next, examine three important factors in the security of your area: windows, doors and locks.
Windows and Doors
- Always keep your windows locked
- Easily accessible windows create an additional security risk. Use window coverings to conceal the contents of your office. If possible, move valuable equipment to a less visible location.
- Consider enhancing your window security by installing additional physical protection such as glass security film or plexiglass.
- Always lock your door when you are absent, even if only for a few minutes.
- Do not prop open doors to anyone's area or building. Secure those you find open.
- If your area contains expensive equipment or valuable information, consider the strength of your door against being forced open. Additional door and window security hardware reduces the risk of forced entry.
- Deadbolt locks offer the best protection.
- Keep a record of your key distribution.
- Keep possession of your keys - do not loan them.
- Minimize duplication of all keys and only duplicate keys through the Physical Plant Keys Office.
- Report all lost or stolen keys immediately.
- If you move to a new area, have a change in staff or lose some keys, consider having the area rekeyed for your own security.
- The issuing department is responsible for collecting outstanding keys from staff, faculty, and students.
All modifications to your area should be approved through Physical Plant to ensure your own safety and to confirm adherence to building codes. Please report broken or non-fastening locks, doors, or windows, to Physical Plant immediately.
General Security Measures - Reduce Your Vulnerability
- Have a safety & security plan for your area and awareness training
- Lock your office when unattended
- Do not leave your laptop or PDA unattended
- Do not prop doors open
- Maintain an accurate inventory of all valuable equipment including make, model and serial number
- Use authorized cable tie downs for computer equipment
- Keep your computer access confidential and regularly change your password
- Be aware of suspicious or unauthorized persons in your area
- Speak to suspicious persons - "Can I help you?"
- Report any suspicious persons. Call in a description to Campus Police at 911 if an emergency or at 519 661-3300 for advice
- Conduct a routine security sweep prior to lock-up
- Utilize an intrusion alarm system for vulnerable areas/valuable equipment
- Always back up files
Mark your Property
We highly recommend marking all valuable items in your area. Marking an item makes it not only unattractive for thieves (because it can be traced and is difficult to sell) but also enables police departments to identify it as stolen and return it to you if it is recovered.
- The University of Western Ontario is registered with "Operation Provident" (OP5067001). This number can be traced anywhere in North America through the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC)
- This number should be engraved as close to the serial number as possible (engravers are available free of charge from the Police)
- Permanent stickers cautioning potential thieves that the property has been marked (including the Operation Provident number) are also available from the Campus Police
- Update the inventory list with the Inventory Office every time you purchase, relocate, lose or dispose of a piece of equipment
- Lock up your personal property while you are at work
If you consider your area to be sensitive or at a high risk of theft or break-ins, consider contacting Campus Police to discuss the wide range of options for monitoring such areas. Any contemplated security system should be consistent with other University security systems.
Installing an alarm system can be very expensive and should only be considered if your area contains valuable equipment and is at significant risk.
In many respects, cash is the most attractive item for thieves. Please consider the following recommendations carefully:
- Limit access to the cash compartment or safe
- Keep the keys to the cash in a secure location
- Lock up cash and take keys with you when leaving the area
- Memorize the combination to the safe
- Prevent people from seeing where the petty cash is kept when reimbursing expenditures
- Endorse all cheques "For deposit only to UWO" immediately upon receipt
- Bank deposits must be made when receipts total $200
- Receipts totalling less than $200 must be secured in a locked compartment
- Money for deposit should not be held over the weekend
- Ensure there is trained backup for the cash handling responsibilites of your position