Oriel student attacked at knife-point in St Clement’s

0
359

A female Oxford student was robbed and chased at knife-point in the early hours of Tuesday morning on Marston Road. The Oriel student was listening to her iPod as she walked along Marston Road just after midnight, unaware that a a man was following her on a bicycle. The man grabbed her and threatened her with a 12-inch knife but the student resisted and both she and her attacker fell to the ground. A passer-by tried to help her run away but the man chased them both, brandishing the knife. The pair escaped after flagging down a passing car.The incident, which took place near the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, was reported to the police immediately. Detective Constable Ian Spencer, of Thames Valley Police, said, “I am appealing for any witnesses to this upsetting incident to come forward as they may have vital information. It is possible that the attacker was injured and I would ask friends or relatives to be aware and to come forward to help us stop any more frightening attacks.”The attacker is described as being a male of Asian or Latin-American appearance and in his late twenties. He is between 5ft 6ins and 5ft 9ins and of medium build. He has a rounded face and was wearing a dark jacket with a hooded top underneath on the night of the attack.In an email to Oriel students the College’s Dean, James Methven, said, “The student in question is shaken but not hurt.” Methven advised students to be cautious when walking alone after dark. He said, “Will everybody please take a moment to think about habitual safety out on the streets at night. It would be foolish to create a disproportionate sense of fear on the part of students, but, equally, it would be irresponsible not to remind people to watch out.”Tom Callard, Oriel JCR president said that he believed the girl was now ok and that he was impressed with the College’s quick response. He said, “I hope Oriel students continue to feel safe in Oxford, and I am sure with the support of the College and JCR they can. It is always a shock when something like this happens, but if it makes us all become a little safer then we could avoid anything more serious happening in the future.” In response to the attack, the JCR has purchased rape alarms which are to be made available to all students.Louise Randall, OUSU officer for Welfare and Opportunities said, “This vicious attack further emphasises the importance of students taking care of their personal safety, particularly at night. Whenever possible students should always avoid walking alone, and make sure that they are fully alert by not listening to iPods or using mobile phones.”She said that schemes such as the Safety Bus or Walk Safe are provided by OUSU to ensure that students are always able to get home safely, and encouraged students to make use of them. OUSU also provide JCRs with alarms to be handed out to students. Many colleges also provide taxi funds. She added, “All these schemes are futile… unless students use them. Don’t take the risk.”A spokesperson for Oxford University said, “We take the safety and security of all our students extremely seriously. We would ask students to look out for each other, especially for friends who may be travelling home late at night. While all incidents of this kind should be reported directly to the police, the University offers a range of services to support those who have been the victims of crime.”by Nadya Thorman

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here