Since Cherwell’s report on violence in freshers’ week last issue, more details of the incident on New College Lane have come to light. Police are now asking for witnesses of an attempted mugging which occurred on Thursday of 0th week. It has also been confirmed the victim of the attack was a New College student.
At about 11pm, the student was walking home after buying food at a kebab van on Broad Street. A man followed him up New College Lane, approached him and demanded his money.
Detective Sergeant Matt Jarman, who is in charge of the investigation, said, “When the victim refused to hand over money the offender threatened to use a weapon. The victim still refused so the offender got him in a headlock.”
The student managed to break free from the mugger’s grip and started shouting to attract people’s attention. “The suspect then ran off down New College Lane into Queens Lane,” reported Jarman.
The Dean of New College said, “The College takes such attacks seriously, and urges all undergraduates to come forward and report anything they may witness on such occasions.”
Tom Scott, JCR President for New College, said, “Oxford may seem like it exists in a bubble but, as recent troubling events have reminded us, people here still face the dangers that exist across the country. It goes without saying that we would like all of our members to stay safe when they are on the streets, particularly at night.”
Despite the attacks in freshers’ week, the University pointed out to students, “Oxford is a very safe place to live, work and study and violent crimes against students are rare.”
A spokesman for the University stated, “Advice on personal safety and security is included in the handbook, Essential Information for Students, which is handed out by colleges to new students at the start of Michaelmas Term.”
Students are advised in the handbook to try to anticipate trouble before it starts and stay in groups or pairs. One extract reads, “If the worst comes to the worst and you are attacked, try to escape rather than fight back, especially if you believe that your assailant may be armed. You are not being a wimp-it’s good commonsense!”
The attacker is said to be white, aged between 20 and 25, about 5ft 10in tall and slim. He had short hair, was clean shaven and was wearing a dark hooded top and bottoms.
Anyone with information that could assist police enquiries is urged to contact Det Sgt Jarman via Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 0845 8505 505. If you don’t want to speak to police and don’t want to leave your name contact the Crimestopppers charity on 0800 555 111.
Tom Scott, added, “”We of course encourage anyone who can to come forward and help the police with their investigations.”