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Robinson reports a shocking 53 incidents to the police while John’s comes second with 30.

Alcohol anti-social FOI fraud incidents police Robinson Theft Trinity

A Freedom of Information investigation by The Tab into matters which involve the police at colleges has revealed a startling amount of information about how often and in what circumstances Cambridge colleges involve the police. 

The police have been called out to colleges 139 times. 181 issues have been reported to the police during the last three years.

Theft is the most common matter reported to the police, with 85 incidents in three years. There have been three incidents of fraud, two at Clare and one at Hughes Hall, and two missing person reports from Robinson and Peterhouse.

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Robinson has reported a bafflingly high number of incidents to the police, with 53 reports. There were 18 thefts reported, 14 incidents of anti-social behaviour, one episode of violence. In addition, there were two bomb threats that required police investigation. No other college has reported any bomb threats in the last three years. 

Lottie Howson, a Robinson fresher, said “I was really shocked to hear about the stats because to be honest the worst example of ‘criminal behaviour’ I’ve encountered at Robinson is someone stealing my newly bought cheese out the communal fridge”.

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Criminal matters reported to the police by college

In a less-than-shocking development, John’s has the second highest incidence of police reports, with 30 thefts being reported. In addition, police have been called to John’s five times for antisocial behaviour. 

A John’s student, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Tab “I wish I could say that I was surprised, but such behaviour stems from a perpetuating culture here at John’s – one of damaging rowdiness”.

Despite the large amount of affairs being reported to the police, a surprisingly small amount result in formal procedures. Only in 11 cases were charges laid and only three – from Hughes Hall, Wolfson and St John’s – resulted in a known conviction.

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Types of incidentsreported to the police

An “abusive and threatening male” was reported to the police by Caius. Trinity in 2010 contacted the police “after a student reported seeing two people laying on the footpath near the wooden bridge on Burrell’s Walk” and “after two students from another College decided to demonstrate in Hall and refused to identify themselves”

Porters have been the target of abusive behaviour. Police were called to Downing because”someone came off the street into the Lodge and used threatening behaviour towards one of our porters” and to Trinity after “a Porter recieved verbal abuse and was threatened with physical violence by (an) unknown male male who tried to park his car in College”.

Police were also called to Downing to deal with fights, to Clare for alcohol-related incidents and to Clare Hall to deal with a ‘prowler’. At Sidney Sussex there was a police investigation into a “break in at Hostel” where an intruder was found “eating student’s food”. 

In the most pretentious description of all the responses we received, Wolfson has called police for “two incidences of affray”. This is apparently means there was “group fighting in a public place that disturbs the peace”.


“Affray” is apparently common here

The least criminal colleges (or colleges who reported the fewest criminal matters) were Clare Hall, Downing, Lucy Cavendish, Queens’, Selwyn and Trinity Hall, which have all not made any reports to the police. One episode has been reported by Pembroke, Peterhouse and Kings while Christ’s, Hughes Hall and Sidney Sussex have reported two incidents each. 

Emmanuel and Homerton did not have a record of how many reports were made to the police or how many times they were called to the college.

Churchill, Catz and St Edmund’s did not respond to The Tab’s FOI Requests.