Tue | Sep 19, 2017

CISOCA launches investigation into assault on two university students

Published:Tuesday | September 20, 2016 | 9:00 AMRomario Scott

The vicious attacks against the nation's women continued unabated yesterday morning after two female students of the University of Technology (UTech) were sexually assaulted while on their way home from the university's main campus in Papine, St Andrew.

Reports are that the students were attacked in the vicinity of the Papine High School while on their way to the nearby community of Highlight View (commonly referred to as Mud Town), where it is alleged that one was lodging.

Further reports are that the females were ambushed by a male who used a knife as aid in his attack.

Superintendent in charge of the police Corporate Communication Unit, Stephanie Lindsay, confirmed that the incident took place and stated that the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse is currently probing the matter.

 

MEDICAL EXAMINATION

 

The females' status up to press time yesterday could not be ascertained, but according to Lindsay, the standard procedure of dealing with incidents of this nature includes a medical examination.

Head of security on the campus, Robert Finzi-Smith, told The Gleaner that it was his understanding that the females went out the campus' rear entrance at 2 a.m. yesterday.

He said it was not the norm for students to be leaving the university's campus.

Smith said because of the security risks of leaving the campus late at nights, the university has made arrangements to assist students getting home.

"We do not want the student to move at that time of night, but if circumstances dictate that you have to, come to the department, which is [open] 24 hours a day and seven days a week," Finzi-Smith urged students.

The security expert is also urging parents who have sent their children to attend university to, "find out where their children are staying. If you are uncomfortable with it, call us."

He said the university, through the security unit, has, on more than one occasion, advised students to abandon places they have taken up residence because of the security risk posed to the students themselves.

"The students' affairs department at UTech is very responsive. Even if we have to push a cot in the corner of somewhere until you can find somewhere safer, we will do that. Certain places we say no," Finzi-Smith said.

This is not the first time students from the university have been assaulted.

On November 5 last year, UTech was plunged into mourning after Shanique Walters, 22, a student of the College of Health Sciences, was brutally murdered by gunmen while walking home on Hope Boulevard in St Andrew.

In the meantime, a frequent visitor to the area in which the assault allegedly took place complained to The Gleaner that the area is not well lit. He said that numerous efforts have been made to bring the authorities' attention to the hazard of darkness, but they have been largely ignored.

romario.scott@gleanerjm.com