first_imgA series of vicious attacks on Oxford’s female students has left police appealing for witnesses this week. Two women were indecently assaulted in separate incidents and an Exeter student was mugged. In the early hours of Sunday 25 April a young woman was attacked by an Asian male thought to be in his mid to late twenties. The assault took place on East Avenue, off Cowley Road. Two days later another student was assailed in similar circumstances on Princes Street, again just off Cowley Road. This attack took place in the afternoon. The perpetrator is described as an Asian male, approximately thirteen years old. Despite the age discrepancy between the suspects, the police still believe the incidents could be connected. DC Mark Hill, who is leading the investigation, told Cherwell, “We can’t definitely say they’re linked, but they may well be.” “We don’t want to panic people”, he explained, “but they do appear to be targeting females, regardless of the time of day. We urge female students to be vigilant.” Nobody has been arrested for the assaults and the inquiry is ongoing. In an unrelated incident, an Exeter College student was mugged last Saturday night. The attack took place at around 11:30pm on Brasenose Lane, which links Radcliffe Square and Turl Street. The victim’s handbag was stolen. Second-year English and History student Laura Morton was returning to Cowley Road alone after an evening out in the centre of town. She was unaware of the man’s presence until a few seconds before the robbery. She pursued the thief onto the High Street before returning to Exeter College to alert the porters. Despite an area search by the police around the High Street and St Aldate’s area, the man has not been traced. The aggressor is described as “wearing dark clothes, with fairly nondescript features and lank brown hair.” Morton told Cherwell that she was shocked and angry at the mugging. She said, “Although Brasenose Lane is not well lit, I used to feel safer there than outside the centre of Oxford. It’s obviously a violation, one I wasn’t expecting, and it has left me feeling tense and paranoid, even at earlier times of the evening.” A police spokeswoman maintained that “Oxford is a safe city” but advised students to “take a minimum of cash and valuables out with you and wherever possible use cash machines in well lit, busy areas. Travel on main routes throughout the city and try to stick together with friends. Avoid obvious use of your mobile phone; think before you use it. Stay aware of your surroundings and remain in control.” The police have released e-fits of the men involved in the first two incidents to Cherwell to help people identify the suspects. Anyone with information on the indecent assaults should ring DC Mark Hill on 01865 266118 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.ARCHIVE: 1st week TT 2004last_img