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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 12:10 GMT 13:10 UK
Students urged to cone clean
St Andrews
Some 5,000 students study in St Andrews
Police have declared a traffic cone amnesty for students at Scotland's oldest university.

Fife Constabulary has told those studying at St Andrews University that they can return any items they have purloined during term time - with no questions asked.

But the force has stressed that it is not condoning the pilfering of other people's property by undergraduates.


This is not a case of criminality being condoned

PC Val Craig
A spokesman said that shop signs, benches, supermarket trolleys and even, on one occasion, a set of temporary traffic lights had all been "posted missing" during term time.

He said that the disappearance of traffic cones had become "an almost weekly occurrence".

As the end of term approaches, the force has organised a temporary amnesty which will allow students to return anything which has found its way into their flats and halls of residence.

E-mails have been sent to everyone studying at the university and posters have been put up around the campus.

"This is not a case of criminality being condoned," said the university's community constable, PC Val Craig.

Traffic cones
Cones regularly go missing in St Andrews
"It is simply a window of opportunity being recognised and opened to allow previously purloined pieces to be returned safe and sound.

"Previous experience suggests that these type of things, often valuable and frequently fragile, just tend to be dumped into skips as premises are vacated for the summer, but this year we hope that this wanton waste can be avoided."

Students can hand back their ill-gotten gains at halls of residence receptions, the student union or the town's police station.

Founded in 1411, St Andrews University is home to a 5,000-strong student population.

Earlier this year the university itself was ordered to pay back 175,000 under funding rules which penalise higher education institutions which exceed their recruitment targets.

The effect of Prince William's decision to study at St Andrews saw applications rise by about 45% for the current academic year.

See also:

01 Apr 02 | Scotland
28 Mar 02 | UK Education
20 Aug 01 | Scotland
28 Jan 01 | Scotland
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