Ross Student’s Life Threatened on 12/2/10

On Thursday, December 2, a Ross University student had her phone stolen by someone who had been watching her and her husband in their Bird Rock home for some time. The person called the husband and threatened to cut the student’s throat unless he delivered $500 USD. The perpetrator was able to convince the husband that his wife had actually been kidnapped by providing knowledge about their home, their dogs, and the couple themselves, all gained from spying on them. Luckily the student was actually safe on Ross’s campus. Here’s the entry from Ross’s Incident Report System:

Bird Rock 10:10 AM: Student reported that she received a call from the husband of her friend, another student, advising that someone had kidnapped the student and was demanding US$500.00 be placed in a garbage can outside the house. The Director of Safety & Security was advised about the incident, having spoken to the student and the husband. The student was eventually found on campus and was advised of the matter that was been looked into. The husband and the police arrived on campus for further investigations.

Since Ross’s reports are password protected, Eye on St. Kitts will now publish ever single one as they appear. There’s a serious problem at hand with security at Ross University. The school asks students to move to St. Kitts in order to attend vet school, but doesn’t take proper care to ensure the safety of students and significant others. The security director claims that Ross vehicles patrol neighborhoods on a regular basis, but clearly this isn’t a sufficient measure.

Two things need to change immediately. First, all crime reports involving Ross students, significant others and pets need to be made available through a public press release. It does not make any sense to keep the incident reports in a private system. Safety will depend on the perception of security measures just as much as on the measures themselves. If the public sees that the university is taking action to prevent such incidents from happening, it will contribution to the betterment of the situation. An adequate perception of security is not provided by unarmed Ross vehicles with no police authority that drive around residential areas on an occasional basis.

Therefore, the second required action is that Ross University needs to hire an armed security force. Like it or not, St. Kitts is not a sufficiently safe environment for its students, partly because students are actively targeted by locals who are living in a state of poverty. (Update 12/6/10: The preceding statement was made in regard to crime, not the economic status of Kittitian locals. Poverty is the cause of most crime, no matter where in the world it happens.) Students are perceived to be wealthy—at least, wealthy enough to rob, or even threaten with death. Yet the police charge money to file a report, and the chances that they will find the perpetrator in a threat like this are extremely low.

If this trend continues, Ross University will not be able to stay in business unless they provide housing for all 700 students on the gated campus. Since that’s not likely to happen at a time when no students live on campus, they will have to hire armed security officers to be on constant patrol in all areas where students live.

We’ll be contacting the student who was targeted in this incident. Please share your thoughts on the issue.

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4 Responses to Ross Student’s Life Threatened on 12/2/10

  1. Renee says:

    The amount makes me wonder if this is related to an incident that happened on the Strip. A regular patron there was quietly shown a gun in a man’s waistband and told that if he didn’t show up every Friday at the same time and give the man $500US, something would happen to the pour guy’s daughter.

  2. Susan says:

    While I agree that the Ross security standards should be upgraded, it is up to the country of St. Kitts to work with the students here (Ross is not the only school here, not to mention the tourists). The police force on St. Kitts is armed, and does have the jurisdiction to make arrests and confront criminals (even if Ross security were armed, they do not have this power). I feel the real problem lies in the apathy of the police force to take robberies and other crimes against students seriously.

  3. sally says:

    ARMING THE SECURITY GAURDS!? ARE YOU NUTS!!!! They are the most useless people I have ever encountered! And you suggest to arm them? You are nuts!

    The problem with the security down there is that they are locals. They dont give a crap if the students are safe. They have a job which most people on the island dont that pays very well in comparison to most on the island. If Ross is serious about the security of its students they need to hire a US company that cares about their job.

    Everyone on St. Kitts is related in some how or way. So when you hire people who have some connection whether direct or indirect to protect students against that, its moronic. The security guards take 30-60 minutes to show up when they are needed right away and they often laugh in students faces when they are needed or something terrifying has happened.

    The only person in the security department that cares about students is actually the guy in charge.

  4. Rick says:

    I’m fairly new here, and my biggest worry is security. Those who live in poverty have little to lose. It scares me that there are some people on this island who have little to lose, and are intelligent enough to know they can get away with crime in certain scenarios considering the state of local law enforcement. This is not an island specific statement. All countries have a percentage of the population where this is the case.

    I am a vip, and I make sure that everywhere I go I have self defense items on my person. I promise any local who feels they can take advantage of me or my family I will inflict life threatening injuries to them, even if I end up in local prison or die trying. I have extensive training in self defense compliments of the U.S. government.

    What scares me is, most of these students haven’t lived beyond U.S. borders to the extent they understand the risks that are potentially here (as they are in certain U.S. areas). With that in mind, Ross security has a huge responsibility in front of them. I appreciate the writers suggestion that the perception of security is as effective as actual security. To that end, I suggest Ross security spend time actually standing around in front of student apartments, at random. I’ve seen them drive by, but what good are they if they don’t know which student lives where, or if they never step out of the vehicle to check on students or are seen sitting around observing the neighborhood. Perhaps the time spent sitting in the neighborhood could lead them to realize particular threats in certain neighborhoods. Ross may have to hire a few people, but increased employment good for the community and is an affordable investment. Further, only employees who have been with Ross for a period of time should be on patrol. New employees should be stuck at the front gate until they have proven themselves to Ross security management (perhaps 6 months or more).

    The security consists of locals, but I have to believe they do care about their jobs. I believe in at least giving them a chance, although I would feel better having U.S. trained armed security working in conjunction with the locals. Many of the locals I have met have been quite pleasant, but there is always the chance you may run into one of those that feels that can take advantage of you and get away with it.

    Beyond increasing the effectiveness of Ross patrols, I’m very surprised Ross doesn’t offer a self defense course. A course in which students are trained basic self defense in addition to discussing some of the recent, Ross specific crime for the last few years. Students have a right to know and covering it up doesn’t help anyone other than the criminals who have perpetrated these crimes. Students shouldn’t be hearing these stories from later semester students. They should be in a seminar during orientation in which these threats are discussed openly, perhaps with the student victims when willing and possible.

    Also, many of these young Naive students need to realize reality. Yes, Ross seems to scare students, but once the initial shock wears off these young adults need help in rationally thinking through scenarios which they may face while studying here on the island. Self defense is reality, and improving in this area will help all of these young students in their careers.

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