Police probe second university sex attack in two days

SECURITY staff are stepping up their patrols after two sex attacks in 48 hours at an Essex campus.

The latest alleged incident at Essex University saw a woman assaulted “by a number of men” at the Colchester campus’ student union.

The victim - a 25-year-old from Colchester, who was wearing a blue dress and has long brown hair - was attacked in The Bakery eatery in the early hours of Saturday.

Two days earlier - and just yards from Saturday’s attack - an 18-year-old woman was allegedly assaulted walking away from a campus nightclub, just off a path at the back of a lecture theatre.

An Essex University spokeswoman said: “The university and students’ union take the welfare and safety of students very seriously and work hard to keep our campuses safe,

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“Incidents of this nature are extremely rare.

“Following the report of these recent incidents, which appear to be unrelated, we have reinforced our guidance to students about the importance of personal safety and taken steps to try to provide additional reassurance.

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“University patrol staff, who are on campus 24 hours a day, are paying particular attention to the central campus and the pathways to the university residences when venues are closing in the early hours. Grounds staff have cleared undergrowth alongside the pathways, and the students’ union arranged extra security within and outside its venues at the weekend.

“We are working closely with the police to assist their investigation, and a police community support officer works on the Colchester campus.

“Both the university and students’ union provide a number of support services for those who require further advice and guidance.”

Police said the venue on Saturday was very busy and are appealing to any witnesses to the incident to come forward. The offenders are described as white and mixed race, in their late teens to early twenties.

In relation to Thursday’s incident, which happened around 2am, police want to speak to a dark-skinned man in his 20s, seen in the area. He is described as 5ft 8in tall, medium to muscular build, with short, dark hair.

Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at Colchester CID on 0300 333 4444.

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