Following recent reports of five sexual assaults on females in East Oxford in ten days, a statement has been issued by the Thames Valley Police urging people visiting the area at night to stay “aware”. Numerous Oxford colleges have followed suit, issuing similar warnings over the incidents, which all involved females who had been drinking and were walking alone in the Cowley area between 2.47 and 3.30am. The police have advised females not to frequent this area in the early hours of the morning whilst alone and/or under the influence of alcohol. Balliol College has further issued emails encouraging students who are out late to make use of the OUSU/OBSU safety bus where possible. Other colleges, such as Pembroke, have issued emails reminding its students that it stocks rape alarms.
Thames Valley Police are encouraging students to call the police immediately on 999 if they notice anything suspicious. The police have also stated that they are currently undertaking “high-visibility patrols” in the area; although they do no wish to “cause unnecessary alarm and fear” they urge people to take the necessary safety precautions. They have clarified that there have been no reports of rape and also no new sexual assaults since the last incident of 5th June. Details of the attacks and an e-fit and description of the attackers have been made available online and in the Oxford Mail.
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