TW: sexual assault.
Thames Valley Police have put out an appeal for witnesses to come forward following a rape incident in an alleyway on Turl Street. The appeal was also emailed to students of Lincoln College which is located on the street.
The incident occurred around 03:20 to 03:40 on Saturday, 4th May. The victim, a woman in her twenties, is reportedly being supported by specially trained officers. It is unclear whether the victim was an Oxford University student.
Senior investigating officer, Detective Inspector Matt Bick, said: “We are asking the public for their assistance in our investigation, we are asking anyone who may have seen two men in the company of a woman who match the description shortly before 3.20am in the area of Turl Street to please come forward.
“Additionally we are aware that three vehicles have passed along Turl Street at the time of the offence between 3.20am and 3.40am. If any of the vehicles has dash-cam footage we would ask them to review it and get in touch, or if they have eye witness information we would appreciate them contacting us.
“I would also ask anyone who was walking in the area of Turl Street at around the time of the incident to please come forward.
According to the appeal, the first offender is described as a man with olive or tanned skin, aged late twenties to early thirties, around 5ft 8 to 5ft 9ins tall, clean shaven, with a muscular build. He was has short dark hair which was parted to one side. He was wearing dark coloured trousers and dark coloured jacket.
The second offender also had olive or tanned skin, was around 5ft 7 to 5ft 8ins tall, he was younger looking and looked quite baby face. He is thought to be in his late teens to early twenties, with a muscular build, with short dark neat hair, shaved at the sides. He was wearing a short sleeved white buttoned shirt with dark coloured dots, and dark coloured jean type trousers.
Anyone with information should call 101 or go to our website quoting reference 190 4/5/19.
According to The University of Oxford, Oxford is “generally a safe space to study and socialise in”. Nevertheless, the University advises students that there are steps that can be taken to minimise any risks.
Their suggestions include the following:
- When walking around the city, try to walk in groups. If this is not possible make sure you stay aware of what is going on around you. MP3 players and phones can often be a distraction.
- If you think you are being followed, cross the road several times if necessary and walk to a busy place (like a shop, an office, or petrol station – or if there is no alternative knock on someone’s door). Call a friend or family member to come and meet you or pick you up.
- Shout and scream as loud as you can if you’re being attacked, are threatened, or at risk of being attacked. This will alert people who may be able to help. It is also likely to cause the offender to run off.
- Consider buying a personal attack alarm to help in this sort of situation.
- If you regularly go jogging or cycling, try to vary your route and time. Stick to well-lit roads with pavements. If you wear a personal stereo, remember you can’t hear traffic, or somebody approaching behind you.
Image Credit: Steve Cadman