Sexual assaults have led to highest-ever police presence on campus, UBC president says
The president of the University of British Columbia says a spate of sexual assaults has led to a security presence on campus unlike it’s ever seen before.
At a news conference today (October 30), Stephen Toope told reporters that UBC is “deploying additional resources” to increase campus safety at night.
This includes stepping up campus security patrols and bringing in outside security personnel as reinforcements. Toope noted that the RCMP has also increased its patrols on the Point Grey campus.
On Tuesday (October 29), RCMP announced they are now investigating six sexual assaults that appear to be linked to the same suspect. The attacks took place on April 19, May 19, September 28, October 13, October 19, and October 27.
This evening, students are set to hold a Take Back the Night rally and march, which kicks off at the Museum of Anthropology at 5 p.m.
According to Toope, UBC administrators are doing what it takes to improve the “sense of security” on campus, without worrying about the cost.
“I want to assure the public and of course the members of our community that the university is doing everything possible, working collaboratively with the RCMP, to try to make the safety of our community our very top priority,” Toope said.
The university has formed a working group to examine campus security. According to Toope, the working group may recommend the installation of surveillance cameras when it reports in a month.
However, Toope said that the campus community would have a “robust discussion” before UBC makes any decision on cameras.
Toope stressed that UBC is dealing with an “unusual situation”.
“This is one of the safest campuses in North America,” Toope said. “There is not normally a climate of fear or of insecurity on the campus.”