- Charles Sturt signs Memorandum of Understanding with Riverina Police District
- Behaviour targeted includes assaults, drink driving, thefts and drug supply and sale
- Charles Sturt has intentions of implementing this at other campuses
Charles Sturt University (Charles Sturt) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Riverina Police District as part of the University’s ongoing efforts to ensure student safety.
Charles Sturt and the Riverina Police District have always had a strong working relationship, and the introduction of the MoU builds on and formalises this relationship.
The MoU implements an Information Exchange Program, which formalises a two-way channel of communication between the University and the Riverina police.
Under the MoU, there are streamlined procedures in place for the University to provide the police with information of suspect or known illicit or illegal activity on campus and the police will inform Charles Sturt of investigations or incidents that involve students.
Head of St Martin’s College Reverend Doctor Grant Bell, who is also the district police chaplain, led discussions with members of the Riverina Police District to implement a formal process for information exchange to increase student safety.
Charles Sturt manager of Campus Services Terry O’Meara is the current point of contact from the University and licensing supervisor with Riverina Police District Sergeant Nige Turney, who suggested a MoU as the best course of action, is the current liaison for police.
“We have that formal connection point with the Riverina Police now,” Mr O’Meara said.
“Now that agreement is in place, we know that information is going somewhere. This allows us to resolve social issues as well as criminal issues.”
Mr O’Meara said the incoming information from police will enable Charles Sturt to properly patrol the campus or alert security when required
Information provided by students relating to incidents that have or might occur is confidential, unless it relates to a criminal act.
Sergeant Turney said the MoU is designed to increase student safety, not decrease their fun.
“We want the students studying at the University to have a good time, but just as important, we want them to be safe,” Sergeant Turney said.
“Local police encourage students to come forward and report if they are victims of crime or witness a crime, or they believe there are activities putting their or another student’s safety at risk.
“The University won’t stand for any criminal activity and the MoU with the Riverina Police reflects this.
The MoU is not limited to incidents on campus. Where police become aware of students involved in, or are victims of, illegal incidents in the city of Wagga Wagga, the University will be notified that an incident involving a student has occurred.
Where a student is a victim of crime, their personal information will only be released to the University with the student’s permission.
“Police can’t deal with problems if we aren’t aware of them,” Sergeant Turney said.
“The process has been encouraging to date; information has been exchanged by both parties that has been pertinent to the aim of the agreement.”
Charles Sturt has intentions of implementing MoUs with local Police Districts at the University’s other campuses.
Each year, Charles Sturt students are addressed on safety matters by campus security and police during Orientation Week.
Mr O’Meara anticipates staff working with the new Student Safety and Wellbeing in guidance from the MoU to increase student and staff safety.
Charles Sturt encourages anyone who is a victim of a crime, or who has witnessed or has knowledge of criminal activity, to contact the police.
Anyone on the University’s grounds can contact Campus Security if they feel their safety is at risk.
Security services are provided through a combination of on-campus staff, mobile patrols, 24/7 emergency response and static guarding. For more information, visit the security section on Charles Sturt website.