At the start of January, a man was taken into police custody and later detained on suspicion of assault and unlawful threat committed on Campus Umeå. On several occasions, people have reported discomfort in contact with this man. As a consequence, the University Management has taken measures to ensure safety.
“We take this very seriously and are working actively to preserve safety and security on campus,” says Per Ragnarsson, Deputy University Director at Umeå University.
Text: Johanna Fredriksson
The man, who is neither a student nor an employee, has wandered Campus Umeå for some time now. On several occasions, individuals who have come in contact with the man have experienced discomfort about the situation.
Charles Cederqvist, head of security at Umeå University.
“This is a person who is verbally very offensive, and sometimes also resorts to violence. He has often sought discussion on topics of his interest and employees have hence experienced him as exorbitant. I fully understand that people have found the situations very unpleasant,” says Charles Cederqvist, head of security at Umeå University. “People who have come in contact with this man testify to verbal threats. And on a number of occasions, the Police has been called out when the man became physically violent against a person working at one of the contracted services on Campus Umeå.”
On Monday 9 January, a man was taken into police custody, and on 12 January he was detained on suspicion of assault and unlawful threat. The man has previously been served three months in prison convicted of unlawful threat, two cases of insult and a case of agitation against an ethnic or national group. “We are closely monitoring what happens to this man,” says Charles Cederqvist.
To maintain safety and security on Campus Umeå, the university security team and the University Management have made risk assessments and gradually added appropriate security measures. For example, inn December, campus security officers were introduced on campus also in daytime – to complement the previous evening and nighttime guards, and the number of officers was also increased. The University Management has also applied to the Swedish Police Authority for permission to have security guards with authority to evict individuals from premises if needed.
Per Ragnarsson, Per Ragnarsson, Deputy University Director at Umeå University.
“We have ongoing contact with the Swedish Police Authority,” says Per Ragnarsson.
To assess the situation correctly, the University’s Crisis Management Team has been activated. This now includes the Deputy University Director, student representatives and representatives of selected offices in the University Administration.
The University Management has also involved the chief work environment representative, HAMO, and is in contact with the management of GN Catering, whose staff member was attacked by the man in question. “We are anxious to ensure that our campuses are always safe and secure for all our students and staff, and everyone who works at and visits our premises and grounds,” says Per Ragnarsson, continuing: "But it is important to preserve an open environment on campus as this is the linchpin of a university. “As always, each organisation’s management may decide for themselves if their premises are kept unlocked or if access cards are required for entry,” says Per Ragnarsson.
Contact the campus security officers early
If a student or employee feels unsafe or uncomfortable, they are urged to immediately contact the campus security officers who are available around the clock. The security number can be found around campus as well as on the back of your Umu card, and next to this article. “The sooner a campus security officer is notified, the better the chances are of intervening when needed,” says Charles Cederqvist. If a threatening situation should arise, either verbal or physical, the police must always be notified. It is also important that anyone who experiences discomfort or unease when working or studying contacts their manager or programme coordinator. This applies both in any situation arising with this particular man and in other situations. “It is important that we find out if things happen. Otherwise it is difficult for the University to get the full picture and take the most suitable measures at the right time,” says Charles Cederqvist.
Contact the campus security officers on +46 90-786 76 00 In case of an emergency, call the Police on 112. If the situation is not urgent, call the Police on 114 14.