The North Yorkshire Police are appealing for information after a woman was raped in Walmgate Stray earlier this month.
A woman, in her early twenties, was sexually assaulted in the early hours of the morning on Friday 13th May. She has described the suspect as black, of medium build and height, wearing a dark hoodie. The assault occurred in the pathway near the edge of the campus, heading southward towards Wentworth College. The victim is receiving support from specialists.
The police recommend that students take appropriate precautions when they make their way home late at night. The North Yorkshire Police wrote on social media:
Sexual attacks by strangers are rare, however, when they do occur, they can cause alarm in the local community. Our advice to anyone who studies, lives or works in the area is to adhere to our usual safety advice when out and about at night. Always stick together with your friends and get a taxi home. For students, the university security staff can help you with taxis and escorts across campus at night.
Walmgate Stray is a popular path between Fulford and the University of York campus, used daily by students, staff and members of the public. However, between the campus and the military barracks there are no lights or lampposts to light the way. Furthermore, some students have been involved in collisions with cyclists in the dark.
A Constantine student, who walks through Walmgate Stray regularly, told The Yorker:
Walmgate Stray is a convenient way between campus and home but it’s a scary place at night. I know many people who feel uncomfortable walking that way late at night. Now that something awful has happened, I won’t be walking through there again.
In November the President of the University of York Student Union (YUSU) Ben Leatham began a petition to install lighting through the Stray. Earlier this month, he announced that disks would be installed down the sides of the pathway, to be fitted over the summer period.
The police ask anyone with any relevant information to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, to select ‘Option 2’ and ask for the Major Crime Unit. Alternatively, they should pass information to the Force Control Room.
If you wish to remain anonymous when providing information, you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. Please quote 12160089860 when calling.
If you have been affected by sexual abuse, assault and / or rape, Survive offers counselling and support. Consult their website here or contact 01904 638813.