Concerns Raised Regarding ANU UniSafe in Halls

Content Warning: the following article makes explicit reference to the 2017 SASH report.

The recent ‘rebranding’ of ANU Security has caused confusion and transition issues for staff and students. These changes, nearly a decade in the making, were put in place following the ANU’s performance in the 2017 SASH report, according to ANU Site Supervisor Lucas Owen.

Residents of ANU colleges raised concerns regarding ANU UniSafe following an alleged incident early this year, where an ANU UniSafe officer entered a students room without a Senior Resident (SR) present. According to ANU UniSafe Security Manager Joe Ducie, this incident was the result of miscommunication between an ANU UniSafe Officer, a residential team member and an SR. Following the incident, ANU UniSafe issued an apology for deviating from standard procedure and the persons involved were re-trained. 

Owen explained how there was a norm that ANU UniSafe officers did not patrol residences after hours, but this has been changed recently. ANU UniSafe officers have always been allowed to patrol halls – refuting another concern of students.  

According to Owen, ANU UniSafe is the only team who is properly equipped to respond to critical issues that occur after hours, arguing that its presence on campus is essential.

The ANU held a forum on the 4th of May for Senior Residents and Community Coordinators of the University’s residential colleges to raise awareness of the role of ANU UniSafe. Students raised concerns regarding ANU UniSafe’s position in the event of an evacuation. ANU UniSafe officers do not act as fire wardens at residential colleges, a point which caused confusion earlier in the year. As a result, both Owen and Ducie admitted that there is a need for greater transparency between ANU UniSafe, staff and students.