University of Washington Policy Directory

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*Formerly part of the University Handbook
Administrative Policy Statement

Crime Prevention

(Approved by the Executive Vice President by authority of Administrative Order No. 9)

1.  Introduction

The function of the Crime Prevention Unit of the University of Washington Police Department is to identify and assess criminal risk. The successful elimination and reduction of crime at the University of Washington depends on the involvement of students, faculty, and staff. The following section describes ways in which members of the University community can assist in preventing crime. For assistance in implementing crime prevention techniques call the Crime Prevention Unit, 206-543-9338.

2.  Crime Prevention Techniques

A.  Marking Property

Valuable property items should be engraved or rubber-stamped with an identifying mark in a conspicuous location. Marking property discourages theft and facilitates recovery. Engravers may be borrowed from the Crime Prevention Unit, 206-543-9338. State property should be marked with the individual department name and "University of Washington." Private property should be marked with the owner's driver's license number.

B.  Securing Property

Theft can be reduced by securing valuable objects. Offices, storage facilities, desks, and files should be locked when left unattended for any period of time. Office items of value such as computers, printers, fans, and other equipment should be secured with lock-down devices.

C.  Security Surveys and Assessment

A crime prevention officer can be requested to assess the security level of a department or work unit. During this review the officer will offer advice on physical and procedural changes that can increase security without disrupting operations. This service is also available for narcotics storage and cash handling facilities.

D.  Key Security

When not in use, keys should be stored in a locked key cabinet. The key cabinet should be bolted to the wall and the bolts should be placed inside the cabinet. Periodic audits should take place to ensure that spare keys have not been loaned, lost, or stolen. Unused keys should be returned and sent to the Lock Shop, Box 355200, for recycling.

E.  Awareness and Reporting

A suspicious person is someone unknown to you who is in an unauthorized place. Approach this person and ask, "May I help you?" If the person leaves quickly after an offer of assistance or gives a vague or suspicious response, notify the University Police by calling 9-911. Try to give the police as complete and accurate a description as possible (height, weight, hair and eye color, clothing). Do not confront the individual; this is the responsibility of the police.

If property loss is discovered, always report property losses immediately to the University Police Department, 9-911.

F.  General Protective Measures

Require that maintenance persons, visitors, and the like, show identification or explain their presence to authority. Place the reception desk where staff have a clear view of entrances, stairs, and elevators. Lock seldom used entrances, if possible. Display crime prevention signs. Maintain the following:

  • A current equipment inventory with descriptions and serial numbers.

  • A sign-in/out system for users.

  • An inventory of new equipment and a procedure for tagging this equipment (for detailed information see Administrative Policy Statement 61.4).

3.  Crime Prevention Programs

The Crime Prevention Unit of the University Police Department offers the following programs. All are available upon request at any time during the year.

A.  Mobile Crime Prevention Unit

This is a display which can be set up in requested areas concerning personal and property safety, including bicycle theft prevention and registration.

B.  Personal Protection Seminar

This seminar is one hour in length and can be scheduled at departmental convenience. The police can also serve as a resource for academic classes on rape.

C.  Robbery Prevention Seminar

This program provides training for persons regularly handling cash or narcotics.

D.  Orientation

This is a "Welcome to the University" presentation for students, staff, and dormitory residents. This presentation lasts 15 to 30 minutes.

E.  Newsletters

  • Police Beat is a monthly listing of crimes involving staff, faculty, and departments. It is distributed to building coordinators.

  • Campus Capers is similar to Police Beat, but lists crimes where students have been the victim, and is distributed October through May. If your department has a student organization, call 206-543-9338 to be included on the mailing list.

  • Less regularly, copy is submitted to University Week, NewsRounds, and Retiree Report. Any department that has its own newsletter is encouraged to borrow copy from Police Beat.

  • Block Watch is a monthly newsletter focusing on crime in the University family housing and single student apartments; it is distributed through UW Family Housing Services.

  • Just the Fax is a news bulletin sent via fax machine about current crimes that may adversely affect the campus community. Only crime information that needs immediate distribution is sent out in this manner. Departments can be included in this program by contacting the Crime Prevention Unit, 206-543-9338, and listing a departmental fax number.

November 1992.