‘Vinnie’s’, the hangout of choice for Blues sports players across the University, has found itself the object of a sexual assault investigation by Thames Valley police.
An appeal by police has been released regarding an incident on Saturday of 7th Week (13th June), which occurred in the club on King Edward Street at around 11:25pm.
According to the report, a 21-year-old woman was approached by a man, who touched her ‘inappropriately’ underneath her dress. The offender has been described as white, slim, about 5ft 8, in his early twenties, and with light brown or blond hair. He was wearing a pink shirt and, according to the Thames Valley Police report, a dark-coloured tie.
The investigating officer, PC Paul Jones, encourages anyone who might have any information at all on the offender to contact the police immediately on 101. The club was described by attendees as having been busy that evening. The officer is confident that the offender can be recognised.
He also added if you would rather not speak to the police directly, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org, where personal details are not taken, no information is recorded, and you will not have to go to court.
VERSA notes that this was on the same day as the Vincent’s and Atalanta’s Garden Party. Both these clubs are listed on the website of Oxford’s Blues Committees as ‘supporting bodies’.
A dark-coloured tie would closely resemble the University Blues tie being worn by dozens of university sportsmen that day. VERSA hopes that the individuals and teams present will uphold their reputation for decency and respect by helping the police with their investigation in any way they can.
The event in question is one of the few times when large numbers of male non-members will have been admitted, lessening the likelihood that a Blues sportsman would have been the culprit.
The Times recently reported on the success of the ‘Good Lad’ workshops within the University rugby teams, and how the scheme was being rolled out from OURFC to local schools in an attempt to educate young men before they reach university of the dangers of ‘lad culture’.
VERSA applauds the bravery of the victim in having the courage to report this crime and relate the details of what must have been a traumatic experience. According to (contested) NUS figures, one in four women is sexually assaulted whilst at university. VERSA urges its readers to take advantage of the opportunity to assist in this case.
VERSA has contacted for comment the Presidents of both men’s and women’s Blues Committees, and the President of the Oxford University Sports Federation, but at the time of publishing received no response.
To reiterate: if anybody has any information on the incident, please contact Crimestoppers (0800 555 111) or the police on 101.