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Lynford Simpson/Contributor


HAT IS the cost of security

for The UWI in a high-crime


“It is significant,” said retired Assistant

Commissioner of Police Keith ‘ Trinity’

Gardner, the director of security at The UWI,

Mona, explaining that the annual cost for

security also takes into account other

facilities like the Western Jamaica campus

and the Discovery Bay and the Port Royal

Marine Labs.

But Gardner said that the cost varies

depending on the number of events staged

whether by students, academics, or by the

public or private sector.

“The cost of security is also impacted by

the occasional increase in minimum wage as

directed by the Government, which, because

of the number of security guards engaged

on the campus, can be astronomical,”

Gardner added, but was not able to give a

precise dollar figure.

Nearly 120 security guards are engaged

across the island by day and some 85 at


“Then there is the operational cost such

as fuel for motor vehicles and the administrative

cost associated with coordinating the three

security entities on the campus, as well as

acquisition of vital equipment for the total

operation, which includes accommodation for

officers,”Gardner said.

But he said that some savings are

imminent as plans are well advanced to

gradually decrease the number of security

guards and instead integrate a state-of-the-

art electronic surveillance system buttressed

by a rapid-response teams.

“The most frequent crime on campus is

theft of smartphones, and to a lesser extent,

of laptops, which are mainly left unattended –

and in the clear view of potential thieves – in

motor vehicles,”said the retired crime fighter.

He said that crimes against individuals

often involve students who reside on

campus and who are familiar with their

attackers. At the same time, there is also

concern about gender-based violence, most

of which goes unreported.

Gardner said that there is a zero-tolerance

approach to gender-based violence, which

includes stalking, sexual harassment, sexual

assault, as well as the use of electronic

devices to solicit, threaten, or otherwise

make unwanted sexual advances to

members of the campus community.

The security director also said that sexual

crimes have either declined significantly or

are underreported.

UWI’s security situation ...

The UWI says that the amount it spends to

secure its campuses each year is quite

substantial and represents a significant

portion of its current expenditure.

“We have an inescapable responsibility to

provide a safe and secure environment for all

students, staff, and other stakeholders. Each

year, based on a needs assessment, we make

the necessary provisions for security on our

campuses,” said Gardner.

‘Significant’ cost to keep

the campus safe

Students and staff are required to prominently display their

identification cards at all times while on campus.

Twenty-five per cent of the UWI’s security assets are

dedicated to the halls of residence in the form of static

guards and compound patrols. They are, in turn, supported

by mobile patrols and motorised patrol units from the JCF,

the campus police, and the contracted private security firm.

Three separate entities are engaged in

round-the-clock security at The UWI: the Jamaica

Constabulary Force at Mona; private, contracted

security guards; and campus police officers.

Security tips are regularly disseminated

to students and staff.

There is ongoing investment in technology.

Under the University of the West Indies Mona Campus

Security Act (2002), persons, when asked by a security officer

to present an identification card, must do so promptly.

UWI security initiatives

Prof Leslie Robinson



Prof Gerald Lalor


Sir Kenneth Hall


Prof Elsa Leo-Rhynie


Prof Gordon Shirley



Archibald McDonald


Prof Dale Webber

2018 (newly appointed)