The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper

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Crime

‘No forced entry’ as computers and possessions stolen in Students’ Union burglary

  • Computers and personal possessions stolen from Union building

  • Scene of crime was the Student Activities Centre for the second time in two years

NATHAN SMITHThe Student Activities Centre

Computers and sensitive data have been stolen after the Student Activities Centre (SAC) in the Students’ Union was broken in to in the early hours of Monday 5th November.

Three iMacs, two staff laptops and data from the computers were taken, along with personal staff possessions.The Student Access Centre is situated at the top of the Students’ Union and is home to student media and Union staff offices.

There was no forced entry in to the building and those who committed the crime had the tools they needed to extract the equipment, such as removing the Kensington locks, suggesting the robbery was planned.

An ongoing criminal investigation is underway which is being assisted by the Union and the University. However due to the nature of the investigation they can only assist a limited amount.

A spokesperson for the Hampshire Constabulary said: “The case is marked under investigation and there will be a number of enquiries made over the next few days.

“We will be talking to University staff in order to get a clearer idea of what happened, and the investigation will be ongoing.”

Nathan Smith The area where the iMacs were stolen from.

A similar crime occurred 18 months ago when the SAC was broken in to in April 2011, the criminals have since been caught and convicted.

The SAC is used for the production of the student media and as a result all the student media groups such as Pure FM, The Galleon, Pugwash Magazine and UPSU TV will be affected by the robbery.

Nathan Smith Offices where thieves broke in and stole staff possessions and laptops.

Vicki Parker, Media Executive Chair, stated: “UPSU Media as a whole has suffered massively due to the break in and the subsequent issues that it has caused. Almost all print content is produced using this equipment, meaning they have been forced to find other ways to edit with looming deadlines.

“Pure FM has suffered massively where the schedule has been cut to half because the out of hours access to the Student Activities Centre has been entirely revoked, the events team has completely stopped where the committee cannot access the studios and the news team has limited access.”

The Students’ Union are currently awaiting the outcome of the investigation, and the University are running an internal investigation along with this.

Students’ Union President Godfrey Atuahene Junior said: “We are working with the Police and the University to resolve the issue as quickly as possible.

“Due to the nature of the robbery, which was a planned break in with no forced entry, we cannot open the activities centre to normal service as we cannot risk the safety of students whilst the Union remains in this vulnerable state.

“We are currently waiting the outcome of the investigation from the University and the Police with recommendations on how to fully secure the space.”

The Students’ Union is unsure as to when the SAC will return back to normal, however access is currently restricted due to concerns of a repeat robbery and for student safety.