Campus ‘Stunner’ turns Hero

As campus cyclists turn vigilante, gets tips on scally-hunting

When he became a campus crime victim for the second time, URY DJ and wannabe student stunner, Adam Bell decided he'd had enough. The philosophy student wasted no time in taking matters into his own hands when his bike was targeted by a gang of young hooligans.

In an incident outside the URY hut in Vanbrugh durng week 5, in full view of a CCTV camera Bell became the victim of a number of "scallies" who dedicated their half term break to roaming around campus. Having already stolen parts of the parked bike, Bell personally witnessed the group, aged between 8 and 10, "kicking it to pieces." The Halifaxer was first alerted to what was going on by another student. "I reported it to the porter in Vanbrugh," he explained. "He advised me to go to the security centre. I asked him for the door code into Vanbrugh."

Bell rushed upstairs in B block to enquire if anyone had seen the offenders. "I looked out the window and saw a group of kids out there," he continued. After trying to photograph the vandals demolishing the bike, Bell dashed to the security centre to raise the alarm.

A search of the campus followed. The trail of the kids led to the subway near the Bleachfield houses. Soon after, Bell was asked to try and identify the perpetrators from two groups of children that security had located. But the effort was ultimately in vain. "Because I could not say for certain who it was and had no physical evidence they couldn't really do anything about it" he conceded. He added that police action may have been impossible regardless, because the age of the criminals would have made them immune from prosecution. Bell, who has previously had another bike nicked, consequently sees the problem as part of "an ongoing saga." The frustration was compounded by the extent of the damage and theft. "It was quite expensive stuff that was stolen off it" Bell explained.

While satisfied with the quick response of security personnel, Bell was critical of the fact that the youths hadn't been spotted automatically. "It seems a bit tragic that there's a CCTV camera, apparently with 360 degree rotation at the bike shed, which hasn't caught anything," he commented.

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