Leeds University Students Targeted By Gangs In 'Night Of Terror'

Huffington Post UK    
First Posted: 24/11/11 16:05 Updated: 24/11/11 17:13

Leeds University has been plagued with another spate of attacks on students, after the city witnessed a "night of terror", despite the institution claiming to have increased security around the campus.

A masked gang attacked 10 young people between 8pm and 8.30pm on Wednesday, leaving two victims needing hospital treatment, the Leeds Student paper reported.

Some of the youths, who were targeted in the Woodhouse area, were allegedly told by police they were "lucky" their attackers had not used weapons.

The parent of one victim told the student paper how he was "smashed in his head from behind, knocked to the floor and stamped and kicked all over his body, including his head".

"Is this what parents can expect for their children when they go to university in Leeds, that they are to run to and from their accommodation?" they added.

A statement issued by West Yorkshire Police confirmed the victims were mainly students but added "there is nothing to suggest they were specifically target for this reason".

The incident involved a group of 10 to 15 masked black males who threatened the students into handing over valuables. Some victims were also assaulted, resulting in injuries. Police are currently investigating whether there is any link between Wednesday night's attacks and the robberies which took place in the same area during the Bonfire Night weekend.

Inspector Ian Scott, of the local neighbourhood policing team said the series of robberies in such a short space of time was "unusual" and police were working closely with university security to ensure a "joined up approach" to combat the offences.

"I think it is important to clarify there is nothing to suggest students are being specifically targeted", he added. "People who commit these offences are looking for young people who may have valuables such as mobile phones on them and in this area of Leeds students represent a large proportion of those people."

A spokesperson for the university told the Huffington Post UK they took the safety of students and staff "very seriously" and would be increasing security around the area in the wake of the attacks.

"In response to the events of last night the security team has been increased by six to 44 officers with immediate effect.

"These extra officers will be carrying out patrols close to university halls of residence in the 'Little London' area. These measures are in addition to the enhanced security measures that were already put in place following a number of reported attacks on the Bonfire Night weekend."

Anyone with information is urged to contact the police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

FOLLOW HUFFPOST UK UNIVERSITIES & EDUCATION