Closed circuit security cameras coming to UBC campus

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UBC RCMP is lying low amid reports a known sexual predator is a person of interest in the latest on-campus sexual assault case.

This comes as questions continue to mount over the investigation; the suspect in Friday’s attack is described as a slender darker-skinned man in his mid-20s standing at 5-foot-ten, although police say they don’t believe he’s linked to a series of sexual assaults in 2013 committed by a man matching a similar description.

Mounties are not revealing anything new, they say until at least tomorrow.

Meanwhile questions are also being raised over the lack of cameras on campus.

Security consultant David Hyde says security cameras can be placed in areas that don’t intrude on privacy …

“There’s also an ability to build privacy sensitivity into the surveillance system, so I don’t in 2016 it’s a valid argument to just reject camera … basis of privacy.”

Closed circuit camera system at UBC

Two years after the UBC Point Grey Campus Safety Working Group called for them to be introduced, closed circuit cameras are coming to the UBC campus.

It’s an idea that came up in the group’s 2014 report which called for a “review focusing on the value of CCTV cameras” along with improved lighting and more security officers.

While extra security staff and lighting were brought in in 2014, the idea of extra cameras was met with concerns over privacy — with a plan to upgrade campus “blue phone” stations to include cameras just recently announced this year.

Hyde says both privacy and security concerns over cameras can be addressed.

“If they’re put in the right place, if they’re amplified in the appropriate manner i.e with signage and with lighting.”

According to statement from UBC security ,”blue phone” station cameras “are not actively monitored or recording, and will only be turned on during an emergency or when somebody pushes the button to be connected to Campus Security.”

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