Alert System Needed for Off-Campus Break-Ins

There have been 27 reported break-ins around the off-campus housing area since Dec. 15, according to a letter from the Boston Police Department. Four of these break-ins occurred during this past week at locations on Kirkwood and Foster Streets. The BPD investigation into these incidents is ongoing. A number of these break-ins occurred due to unlocked front doors while others were through windows. Various other attempted break-ins and suspicious incidents have occurred around off-campus housing throughout this past year.

Students affected by the break-ins have expressed frustration with the initial lack of information regarding prior break-ins. This knowledge could and should have spurred these students to increase security around their off-campus homes. The simple nature of some of these break-ins, through unlocked doors, is something that can be avoided, and student apathy should continue to be heavily discouraged.

ResLife has sent out repeated emails in the past urging students to lock their doors, but until Wednesday nothing was sent out to inform students of the string of burglaries. A new alert system that emails off-campus students after every off-campus break-in should be instituted through the University. This system would provide extremely relevant information by relaying the facts about recent break-ins, especially ones that have been reported to the BCPD. A student living off campus should be aware of a break-in just down the road in order to respond appropriately. Alerting these students will help to spur action and encourage the locking of doors and windows, as well as a general increase of security and awareness, by demonstrating how close and immediate the danger truly is.

This sort of alert system has already been used at Boston College for security concerns such as last year’s bomb threat and last semester’s Lake St. mugging. An expansion of these alert services into break-ins for off-campus students is much-needed. The campus-wide emergency alert should remain a tool for immediate dangers, but sending break-in notice emails to off-campus students is another alert that should join it. Living on campus is often not an option for 50 percent of BC juniors. Because of this BC has an obligation to assist and inform these students with regard to the various issues that occur in off-campus housing.

While security reminder emails earlier in the year are a good step, they do not adequately inform students of ongoing security concerns. Steps must be taken to combat the string of break-ins and keep every student informed. Immediate information regarding the date, time, location, and nature of a recent break-in is something all off-campus students should know.

Featured Image by Emily Fahey / Heights Archives

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