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‘No evidence’ on second campus assault, say Police

Sussex Police have closed the investigation into an alleged sexual assault on campus last Tuesday 21 February.

The police claim that there was not enough evidence to support that such an attack had taken place.

Detective Inspector Ian Still of Brighton and Hove Criminal Investigation Department (CID) said: “Since the police received the allegation […] comprehensive and widespread enquiries have taken place and we are satisfied that there is no evidence.

“We will continue to work closely with the two universities in Brighton to ensure the safety of their students.”

The student alleges to have been attacked on campus on the morning of Tuesday 21 February.

Professor Michael Farthing, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sussex has expressed his relief when finding out that there had not been a second assault on campus.

This was the second assault reported in the last few weeks, but the police have not established a link between the two incidents.

Indi Hicks, Students’ Union  Welfare Officer, said, “I have been trying to work with the University to improve safety for students in terms of prevention, reporting and support and with a particular focus on survivors of sexual violence and I will ensure that this is the number one priority for the new Head of Student Services when she starts this week.

“A number of students and students’ parents have expressed their concerns over the situation and the way it has been handled.  As a Union we are working to improve the communication to students and we will also be approaching the police regarding this.

“It is also important to note that while protection is crucial, so is a much needed cultural shift in order to push the responsibility onto stopping the perpetrators. With the work done by students, like the campaign group SASH (Students Against Sexual Harassment) we can begin to see this process taking place.”

The first assault on 15 February is still being investigated. The police are appealing for anyone who might have heard or seen anything suspicious in the early hours of 15 February.

The man is described as white, approximately 6’1”, wearing a dark grey woolly hat.

Detective Inspector Still said: “The woman reports being attacked by a man with a knife near to accommodation at the rear of the university.”

People who have information and want to contact the police may do so on 101 quoting serial 0152 of 15/2 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The university and the Students’ Union (SU) have been working together to improve security on campus.

Students can arrange to be escorted across campus by a member of security, if they are alone or feel unsafe.

The university is negotiating with the Brighton and Hove Bus Company with a view to extending the N25 service to the Northfield accommodation.

Informative leaflets on student safety will be distributed. Residential Advisors have also been briefed on the situation, and free personal alarms are available to students from York House reception.

Students can contact security on 01273 678 234 or from any of the blue-light emergency phones on campus.
In an emergency security can be reached on 01273 873 333 or on 3333 from any internal phone.

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