"Oxford is still not Detroit"


A student from Christ Church suffered injuries and temporary memory loss after being mugged on his way back to college after a night out at The Bridge last week.

Benjamin Anderson, an finalist Engineer, was attacked as he was walking past Hythe Bridge in the early hours of Friday 7th May.

“I was walking alone back to college after leaving The Bridge. The only thing I recall is the flash of a face, and I don’t remember anything until I was back at the porters’ lodge at my college,” said Anderson.

“I then spent the night at the A&E Department at the John Radcliffe Hospital until about 9am, where I had CT scans and an x-ray.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed that the incident took place at around 2am. A spokesperson said, “A man was assaulted near Hythe Bridge as he was walking towards George Street from Park End Street.

“The victim had his phone and wallet stolen, and suffered a temporary memory loss. He sustained cuts to his face, swelling to his eye area and has a chipped tooth.”

Thames Valley Police are still looking for witnesses to help identify the assailant. Anderson “recalls that the attacker was a white male, about 6 feet tall and had short hair.” Anderson said that he cannot remember exactly what the man looked like, and that the police are currently looking at CCTV footage in order to try and identify him.

“It’s all a bit hazy, the only thing I remember is him moving.”

Anderson said that he was “not traumatized, but definitely pissed off. This is not something I would have expected to happen to me, having been in Oxford for three years. It’s not like you shouldn’t go out at all, but it is important to keep your wits about you.”

Following the incident, Ian Watson, the Christ Church Junior Censor, circulated an e-mail to students, suggesting precautions in order to avoid being attacked when out at night.

The e-mail read: “Some of you will already know that another Junior Member of Christ Church was attacked last night, on leaving The Bridge in the early hours.

Although, fortunately, his injuries are less serious than they at first seemed, the attack seems to be have been vicious.”

After highlighting the need to be careful when out late at night, and saying that it is better to leave in groups rather than alone, the e-mail warned that “size matters, but in a perverse way.”

Watson said, “Across the country, large males are the most likely group to be attacked, because they seem worthy targets to inebriated male assailants (by far the most common category).

“It’s no use thinking that if you are large and sporty you will be able to defend yourself. You won’t, because the attack will probably be over before you have time to react. Oxford is still not Detroit, but there is a need for great care nonetheless.”

One student told Cherwell, “I never think twice about walking home alone at night. I always think of Oxford as such a safe place, regardless of the time of day”.

Dani Quinn, OUSU Vice President for Welfare, circulated a message to JCRs urging caution to students. “Students are one of the most likely groups to fall victim to crime. It’s easy to avoid trouble if you know what you’re doing. Don’t be a statistic: take basic steps to avoid a bad ending to a great night.”


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