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Spate of attacks reported on Cowley Road

Recent incidents include a physical assault near South Parks and reports of students being approached following the St Hilda's Ball

Oxford students have been warned against walking home alone at night following a spate of attacks on students in the Cowley area.

Recent incidents involve a physical assault on a female student by South Parks, as well as a man approaching students who are on their own late at night by Cheney Lane.

Two men were also reportedly waiting outside St Hilda’s College last Saturday, asking students leaving the ball to get in their car.

In an email to students, St Hilda’s Dean Lorraine Wild wrote: “We have been alerted to an assault on a female student in the South Parks area last week during which she was kicked and punched to the ground.

“There have been two other incidents in the area around Cheney Lane in which a man has been reported as approaching lone students late at night.”

She warned students to be “extra vigilant” and to “try not to walk home alone late at night.”

A female student was approached at 4am by two men in a silver car on Cowley Place, shortly after leaving the St Hilda’s Ball. She ran back inside to the St Hilda’s porters’ lodge, but the men had already driven off when the porter went out to find them.

The student described the men as “leery” and told Cherwell that she would have felt “vulnerable” without the porters’ lodge so near.

She said: “I’m surprised that it happened here, because back home I’d probably be more careful, but in Oxford you forget that there’s a wider world beyond the colleges.

“It’s shocking to think that despite being lucky enough to run back to a college, something scary like this can happen.”

Advice on the University website recommends that students “plan your night before you go out” and “never walk home alone” in the dark.

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