Police were called to Constantine College yesterday after a Live Action Role-Playing sword used by a student during a HAZSoc event was mistaken for a real weapon.
Armed officers arrived at the University at approximately 7.30pm after receiving a call during the society’s game of Assassins’ Circle.
The week-long game involves players being assigned another person as a target, who they then have to ‘assassinate’.
This can be done in a number of ways, for example, by shooting someone with a NERF gun or touching them with a foam LARP sword.
Rumours posted on Facebook suggested a “man dressed in camouflage wielding a knife” and helicopters had been spotted around Constantine yesterday evening, but these reports have been confirmed to be false. It has also been stressed that the student “did not pose a danger to fellow students” as the weapon was a replica.
The student who was seen carrying the sword was reminded of the dangers of carrying such weapons in public places. People who possess replica weapons have been advised by police to keep them out of view and think carefully about how they store them to ensure they avoid causing alarm.
HAZSoc have since announced that it has banned the use of LARP weaponery during its event and that it will notify police of future games so players can continue to use replica weapons.
Chris Wall, Student Activities Officer, told Nouse: “We are aware that there have been issues in the past regarding replica weapons and societies using them.
“We have a policy in place in conjunction with the police force to ensure that they know of society activity and we don’t run into issues such as the one today. This wasn’t communicated properly to the new HAZSoc committee. This has been told to them and reiterated to other affected societies today which we appreciate their compliance with.
“HAZSoc have been really proactive in talking with us to avoid the issue in the future and we really appreciate the continued support and professionalism of the police.”
In an email sent to students, Kate Harper, Constantine College Officer, stated: “The University takes the safety and security of students very seriously.”