12 September 2022 | Story Valentino Ndaba | Photo UFS Photo Gallery
UFS Protection Services
The science of safety reinforces practical and collaborative efforts aimed at creating a secure campus environment.

While we might not have it down to a science just yet, safety is something that the University of the Free State (UFS) is constantly working towards improving. As it stands, various preventative measures exist across our three campuses. They say “Prevention is better than cure” – and that is exactly what the science of safety is all about.

What is the university doing to prevent crime? 

There are a few measures put in place by the Department of Protection Services, as its core mandate involves working around the clock to address the state of safety and security for staff and students. Some of these measures include:
• CCTV cameras monitoring campuses on a 24/7 basis.
• Panic buttons mounted on red poles which are fitted with cameras linked to the Control Room.
• Daily visible vehicle and foot patrols conducted by security personnel. 
• Security infrastructure such as turnstiles and surveillance cameras installed on all residence entrances.
• Security officers deployed around residences at night.
• Closely collaborating with Housing and Residence Affairs to find ways of creating, maintaining, and improving off-campus student safety.
• Investigating Officer on a 24/7 standby who is in direct contact with the South African Police Service (SAPS) Investigation Unit.
• Security and SAPS vehicles deployed at identified hotspots.
• Security patrols by contracted armed response security companies conducted in areas such as Brandwag, Willows, and Universitas in Bloemfontein, and surrounding areas at the Qwaqwa and South Campuses.

Safety is a shared responsibility

“In as much as Protection Services has duties and responsibilities in ensuring the safety of staff and students, the UFS community also needs to support and provide assistance to the department,” said Cobus van Jaarsveld, the department’s Section Head: Threat Detection, Investigations, and Liaison. 

You can play a role in ensuring that the UFS becomes an increasingly safe environment by:

• Immediately reporting any suspicious activity, item, person, or vehicle to the Department of Protection Services. 
• Acting responsibly to minimise your vulnerability to criminal activities.
• Familiarising yourself and complying with the UFS Security Policy, Protest Management Policy, and other security guidelines, standards, procedures, and protocols. 
• Following instructions issued by an authorised person for safety and security reasons.
• Cooperating with investigation processes that are in the interest of justice.
• Treating university property with the utmost care and avoiding exposing it to criminal activities, as well as reporting such activities. 

Creating a safe space for all

From identifying safety needs to tackling security issues head-on, the Department of Protection Services strives to reduce the risk of all kinds of crimes through the science of safety. The department continuously responds to the call to serve and protect in the following ways:

• Identifying and assessing risks and threats that have an impact on the safety and security of the UFS staff, students, and property.
• Enforcing access control.
• Investigating any reported incidents, providing investigation reports, and also issuing early-warning reports.
• Responding to emergencies reported on campuses. 
• Advising UFS management on all aspects of security.
• Initiating programmes and projects to enhance security awareness among UFS staff, students, visitors, and contractors.
• Providing support to students living in off-campus residences through contracted armed response that responds to emergencies and conducts patrols.
• Arranging counselling for victims of crime where necessary.
• Coordinating security services for on-campus events to ensure a safe and secure environment.

Contact Protection Services:
Bloemfontein Campus: +27 51 401 2911 or  +27 51 401 2634
Qwaqwa Campus: + 27 58 718 5460

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