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Students warned as woman found searching bags in ASSL

Should students be aware of potential library thieves?: Cardiff University issues warning to students about leaving belongings unattended. Source: Stan Zurek (via Wikimedia Commons)

By Anna Dutton

Cardiff University services has cautioned students who use the Arts and Social Studies Library (ASSL) as a woman has reportedly been seen rummaging through individuals’ bags. The warning was issued the week commencing February 3.

The ASSL, the popular 24-hour library located next to the John Percival Building, is used by many students, especially during exam season. Often, students will leave their belongings unattended for short periods of time while they go to the bathroom or grab a sandwich, trusting that no-one would take their things. As this is the final semester of this academic year, if any laptop or phone were to go missing it would likely be a huge loss to students as they would lose invaluable coursework preparation or exam revision.

Earlier this month, Cardiff University’s Security Services issued a warning to students that there have been reports that a woman has been searching through the bags of staff and students at ASSL library and the department urged everyone to keep an eye on their personal belongings and remain wary.

Gair Rhydd contacted Cardiff University regarding this warning, to which a Cardiff University Spokesperson said:

“We take the personal safety of our students extremely seriously. Whilst the campus remains a safe place unfortunately there are occasional incidents. That’s why we make no apology for reminding students of the need to remain vigilant; keep their personal belongings out of sight, particularly mobile phones, wallets and laptop bags and; encourage them not to leave valuables unattended for long periods of time. If anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously they should report it to library staff or security on +44 (0)29 2087 4444.”

Students entering the ASSL used to have to use their student ID, however entering the library has now changed and no longer requires ID within business hours for the staff who work there. Consequently, it is unclear whether the woman in question is a student or a member of the public.  

Regardless, this warning has come at an important time for a lot of students as the second semester is in full swing, and with proposed strike action taking place in March, it is likely the library may become even busier with more students using the space instead of attending lectures.

Therefore, it is important that all students using the space remain vigilant and keep an eye on their own belongings as well as those of others to ensure no-one loses their valuables. If you do notice any suspicious behaviour, inform the library staff immediately and they can decide the best course of action. 

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