Police say an organized gang may be responsible a spate of thefts in the Union.
Victims had high value items stolen from their bags and purses, in a series of nine separate incidents in one evening.
In response to the incidents, which happened on April 19, the Union has heightened its security. Patrols are also set to increase and Union staff have been made aware of the offenders’ tactics.
A police source told this newspaper that, despite CCTV footage, tracking down the thieves is proving difficult due to lack of descriptions given of the perpetrators.
The Police’s University Liaison officer, PC Matt Guy, warned students to be vigilant:
“We are coordinating a response to these incidents and are putting out an awareness campaign for students on campus about protecting personal property.”
There were 23 incidents of theft reported within the University in March.
Information from national police sources indicates that in incidents similar to those in the Union, the perpetrators are usually professional ‘purse dippers’.
The most recent crime statistics released by the Knowledge campaign reveal that 34 per cent of theft victims in pubs, clubs and bars in January this year were students.
Words: Phil Mann, Sean Hayes
Image: Leo Garbutt