14 January 2003
University joins police in appeal for information
Sussex Police have released details of an attack on a student at the University which took place in the early hours of Saturday morning (11 January) on the campus at Falmer.
The University of Sussex and the Students' Union have joined the police in their appeal for people to come forward with any information they might have relating to the incident, by calling (0845) 6070999 or Crimestopper in confidence on (0800) 555 111.
Professor Alasdair Smith, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex, said:
"Our first thoughts are with the student herself. The security of our students and staff is of the highest priority, which is why we have an extensive range of measures already in place. We hope that the CCTV footage we have passed on to the police will prove helpful. And we would appeal to anyone with information to share it with the police."
The University and Students' Union are seeking to support the campus community in the light of this incident, the first of its kind on campus for over 10 years. Residential advisers - second and third year students who live on campus and support new students - are being briefed about the incident, and the Students' Union is re-issuing safety advice for students. The student herself is being given support by the specialist police welfare team and University student services.
The University already has extensive security measures in place, including 24-hour a day, 365-day a year security service on campus, a network of CCTV cameras, an on-request "walk-home" service, emergency phones and subsidised attack alarms for students. Night-time security patrols have been immediately increased. In addition, a review of University security systems has recently taken place and a number of further improvements are being planned.
Ros Hall, President of the Students' Union, said:
"We feel strongly for the student who suffered this attack. The University campus is usually a safe environment for students. The Students' Union works hard to keep it that way, with up-to-date security measures for all our facilities, and good advice and support for students around their own safety. We want to help students feel secure as they live and study here throughout the year."
Notes for editors
Press Office contacts: Rob Read or Alison Field, University of Sussex, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, email R.K.Read@sussex.ac.uk or A.Field@sussex.ac.uk.
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