UTAS is committed to ensuring a safe and tolerant workplace for staff and students as well as participating in activities that improve the wellbeing of the broader community.
Regular liaison between UTAS and Tasmania Police, has resulted in a range of initiatives being developed to improve the staff and student wellbeing and their interaction with Police.
Unicop enjoys the ride at Newnham Campus, Launceston
(L to R) Constable Keith Smith - Tasmanian Police & UTAS Launceston's UniCop
Brian Munro - UTAS Security & Cleaning Manager, Constable Gavin Storay - Tasmanian Police
Cyclists are a common sight around University campuses but not so bike-riders in Police uniform. A new relationship between UTAS and Tasmania Police in Launceston aims to change that perception.
An informal relationship has evolved between Tasmania Police and UTAS staff including Community Engagement, Security, Student Services, as well as the Tasmanian University Union (TUU) and the Australian Maritime College (AMC).
“As part of this new enterprise, Police Constable Keith Smith has become our ’Unicop’ –visiting the Newnham campus on his bicycle a few times each week from his base at the near-by Newnham Police Station,” said David Rich, Deputy Vice Chancellor.
“Constable Smith rides around meeting students and staff with the aim of maximising communication and trust. He has also been invited to events and his presence is a familiar sight. We hope he will become a part of the landscape at UTAS in the north.”
To reinforce this message, this year’s Orientation Day activities in the north included Constable Smith talking about his role and why he is regularly seen riding around campus.
“The University has a wide number of students who come to study and live in Launceston from across Tasmania, as well as interstate and overseas. Some students arrive with different views about the role of police and some are actually terrified of anyone in uniform,” Mr Rich said.
“Constable Smith’s presence on campus is to underpin the fact he is friendly and approachable and someone they can turn to if they ever need assistance.”
The Dealing with Police Brochure is designed to help students, staff and community members understand more about the processes of dealing with Tasmania Police – when to call them, what to expect, what the processes are to be followed.
For some new community members, from international backgrounds, a uniformed officer may conjure up negative perceptions. The Dealing with Police brochure will help to convey the message that Police are about keeping all of us and our communities safe – and that when folk are in strife they can approach Police for help and support.
A truly collaborative initiative, Dealing with Police has been developed, funded and distributed by the Launceston Safer Community Partnership, Housing Tasmania, Tasmania Police and the University of Tasmania.
The brochure has been distributed around the UTAS campuses, Police Stations, Migrant Resource Centre, municipal offices, government departments and the broader community.
If you require brochures for display contact the Launceston Engagement and Development office
In 2011 the Student Safety Card was developed by David Waldron (AMC Risk Advisor) in close consultation with Tasmania Police and Launceston based UTAS security services and is designed to be small enough to be kept in wallets/purses. Funding was provided by SECAT (Student Experience & Cultural Awareness Taskforce) to print the card and launch the initiative state-wide. The card has been distributed via Libraries, TUU, Support & Equity, Student Advisors and the Student Centre. Whilst UTAS has an ongoing program to further develop and improve safety on campus, this card will further assist with educating students to stay safe when they are off campus in the general community where many of them live, work and socialise.
Authorised by the Provost
5 December, 2012