Mr Colin Fouché, Director of the Department of Security Services, has introduced a new strategy against drug abuse on campus and the surrounding areas.
In a meeting with Perdeby, Mr. Fouché spoke about what campus security does in and around campus to ensure our safety. They have people in uniform on campus, they have 1184 cameras scattered over the campuses as well as 7300 alarm points. The university also helped to establish the Hatfield Community Court in 2004, which plays an important role in preventing drug and alcohol related crimes. Campus security is also managing a new 24-hour toll-free crisis line (0800 006 428) where students can report a crime any time of the day.
Campus security has offered to help the police with forensic evaluation of suspicious substances to accelerate the prosecution process. The university has competent personnel as well as a forensic laboratory, but the police have not yet accepted the offer.
Mr Fouché expressed his concern for the welfare of the areas surrounding the campus. “Hatfield is a big problem,” said Mr Fouché. Drug and alcohol abuse is especially a problem. The university is supporting Hatfield CID and has monitoring cameras in some areas of Hatfield, especially near the women’s residences. Campus security has also spoken to the owners of Hatfield Square about the drug abuse problem.
Perdeby asked Mr Fouché whether, if they were to close down Hatfield’s drug trade, it would just transfer the problem somewhere else. Mr Fouché answered that Hatfield is a threat to the university, because when parents come and look at the university they not only look at the university, but also the surrounding area. Mr Fouché argues that if the university does not start looking at Hatfield and its security it might get out of hand. “If we do not do something now it might be too late.”
No matter how much effort and money the university spends to keep students safe and away from drugs it is still the students who must choose what to do. If the students keep searching for and using drugs then the problem will not go away. Mr. Fouché asked, “What are students going to do about the drug abuse problem?”