Thomas Cramer. The horrific actions of the 29-year-old have taken Royal Holloway by storm. In a cowardice act of harassment, on the 27th May 2021, he was seen driving around the university campus taking photos of young girls. A total of seven pictures surfaced later that day on his Instagram and Cramer was swiftly reported to campus security. I wish his behaviour was considered abnormal but being harassed and sexually objectified is sadly just something women are forced to live with in their day-to-day life.
Imagine walking around campus to your lectures and later being told, by a friend or even a stranger, that a photo you were unaware was being taken in the first place was posted to Instagram. Scroll down to the captions and you’ll find @thomasjosephcramer attached vile descriptions scrutinising the female body. “Paradise. Here they come. Safari”. After his arrest on the 30th May, Cramer was not given the opportunity to return to campus. But he was released and investigated in liberty.
So, to be clear: the ones responsible for our public safety allowed the man who sexually harassed and stalked students to just walk freely. Girls on the other hand, remain traumatised. “I went directly to campus security; I was in bits crying. I was told to avoid the car and stay in my halls”. This was the advice given to one student, because the university campus – a home to thousands – is unsafe. Holding a camera and capturing these photos from inside your car would sell you off as a creep, right? Isn’t it funny how the sexual offender is out in the open and the victims are basically told to hide? Police stated that “back in March, Cramer was also found guilty of racially abusing his housing officer”. He is being treated as just another addition to the list of men around the world who live under the impression that they carry a degree of dominance over the more vulnerable. Ironically, these groups – particularly women and ethnic minorities – have been painted as such by patriarchy. Thomas Cramer is the living proof that women cannot trust the justice system.
On 1st June 2021, a mere 24 hours after deciding to let him be investigated under release, further reports flooded the Staines Police station regarding Cramer. No surprise, he pleaded guilty for these disgusting harassment claims, high as a kite and in possession of other drugs when entering the station. Kept in prison for three months during which the Crown Court looked for a fitting punishment, on August 26 Cramer was sentenced to 5 months of imprisonment and five months to be put on license. The Criminal Behaviour Order added to this sentence is the only reassurance we get, that he will not invade the Royal Holloway campus again. Yet, with official crime statistics from September 2021 – 24% of crimes in Egham representing sexual offences – is that really enough? Can five months make a lifetime of misogynistic acts, that ultimately fuelled patriarchal norms still staining our society today, make a man like Cramer repent? No.
“I couldn’t give two fucks or get any sexual gratification from those pictures. They are just my trophies now because I don’t like the way @royalholloway students were and still are on my case.”
Cramer never had the chance to immediately reply to the comments that got the police’s attention in the first place. However, dated back to only a week ago, this ridiculous claim is attempting to defend his repulsive actions as ‘normal’. Alongside such offensive comments, a video was added on October 29 with Cramer’s chilling announcement: “I’m untouchable in prison and out here”.
Ultimately, the Thomas Cramer case was successful in the eyes of the police: he was arrested and given a criminal behaviour order, so they did their job. It’s not that simple. The Instagram page was not taken down, still objectifying these girls as some kind of prey for Cramer. Yes, there are no recent photos. But who is to say he is not doing the same thing on another university campus or anywhere for that matter? Not seeing it on social media doesn’t mean it’s not happening; we’re just not made aware of it.