Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DURHAM TIMES to 80360 or email us
3:47pm Thursday 26th April 2012 in Leader
THE theft of the valuable items from Durham University’s Oriental Museum raises some awkward issues for the university and the criminal justice system.
At the time of writing it is not clear who is to blame for the fiasco over the release of one of the chief suspects, but it seems somebody has made a daft decision – a decision which may make it much harder to recover the missing objects and to track down the other wanted suspects.
There are also questions for the university to answer. In one sense, this was a sophisticated raid in that the thieves were clearly after particular objects and had an understanding of their value.
They took only what they wanted and escaped very quickly. However, there’s nothing very sophisticated in making a large hole in the three-brick thick outer wall to gain entry.
Clearly, the alarm systems at the Oriental Museum, which we can only presume are sensitive to noise and movement, were not sensitive enough to detect the noise made by the hammering and chiselling which took place over what must have a been an extended period to make a hole large enough to get through.
Given the problems the university has had with some of its other treasures – the Shakespeare folio, for example – it is to be hoped this incident will trigger a thorough review of security.