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Appeal for information following sexual assault

The University of Sussex has joined Sussex Police in their appeal for information following a report that a woman was sexually assaulted on the Sussex campus this morning (Tuesday 21 February).

The University of Sussex security team assisted a student on campus at 4.15am. The student, who is aged 20, then called police at around 4.40am, saying that she had been attacked by a man as she was walking through campus a couple of hours earlier.

She reports being pushed to the ground near Lewes Court and was sexually assaulted before the man ran from the area.

He is described as white, around 6'1'', with fair hair and facial hair and aged in his mid 20s.

Detective Inspector Ian Still of Brighton and Hove CID said: "This investigation is in its early stages and we are currently working with the victim to establish an account of exactly what happened.

"We are keen to hear from anyone who was in the area in the early hours of this morning and may have heard anything or saw anyone acting suspiciously."

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Michael Farthing, said: "Our first thoughts are with the student herself; we are providing her with direct support and assistance at this time. We want to help all students feel secure as they live and study here throughout the year. We would appeal to anyone with information to share it with the police.”

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101, quoting serial 96 of 21/2, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Sussex Police are not saying if the incident is linked with an assault on a female student that took place last week (Wednesday 15 February) on campus.

Roger Morgan, Head of Security, said: “Campus is normally a very safe place to be. The safety of our students and staff is of the highest priority, which is why we have an extensive range of security measures in place.”

In response to the two incidents this month, the number and visibility of night-time security staff on patrol is being temporarily increased. The University already provides personal security alarms – which are available to students free of charge from the 24-hour reception in York House - and has increased stocks.

Other security measures already in place include a night porter at Stanmer Court and another at York House, a network of CCTV cameras, emergency phones, and a lone-person ‘walk-home’ service.

To arrange a lone-person escort across campus by a member of Security staff, call Security on 01273 678234, or from any of the blue-light emergency phones on campus.

The emergency contact number on campus is 01273 873333, or just 3333 from an internal phone.

Sussex Police advise students always to be vigilant when moving about the campus at night, and when possible to be in company as they do so.

Residential advisers – second- and third-year students who live on campus and support new students – are being briefed about the incidents and are offering support to students in their residences.


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Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 21 February 2012