Blackmail, three rapes and four sex assaults reported at University of Northampton since 2012

Crimes committed on University of Northampton premises have been revealed - and show offences have risen in each of the last six years.

Thursday, 27th December 2018, 1:07 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:00 am
General view of the University of Northampton building on Waterside Campus

Offences since September 2018 have included a sex assault on a female at Park Campus, where a suspect was identified but there were 'evidential difficulties' in pursuing a charge.

Other recorded crimes this academic year include possession of a blade at St John's Halls of Residence, and theft by an employee at Park Campus.

The FOI request also revealed a number of sex offences - all against women - have been recorded on university grounds since 2012. Three rapes were recorded, and a further four sex assaults.

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Total offences per academic year peaked at 34 crimes in 2017/2018, which was when Northamptonshire Police announced it had established a dedicated team of officers based at the university's campuses.

The university said the reason for the extra officers was that the new Waterside Campus provided an opportunity to work with Northamptonshire Police.

A statement said: "We are aware that the police in Northamptonshire provide a superb service, but that resources nationally are finite.

"Therefore when we moved to our new campus closer to Northampton town centre in the summer of 2018 we began a trailblazing partnership which saw the introduction of the UK's first dedicated university police team."

The team will be hoping to improve the number of offenders brought before the courts. Of 124 recorded crimes during since 2012, just four resulted in a charge. Fifty-four investigations saw no suspect identified and 21 were otherwise unresolved.

Sergeant Lorna Clarke who leads the university’s policing team, said: “The University of Northampton is, in itself, a small town, and as with any large concentration of people, the risk of crime always increases.“The University of Northampton places a huge emphasis on the safety of its staff and students which is why we have entered into a partnership with them to make this one of the safest campuses in the country. “We are here to keep people safe and help them feel safe as well as to enforce the law and tackle any crimes that may take place here.”

Crimes recorded at the University of Northampton by year:

2012-13: 10 crimes; no charges; eight, including two cases of assault with injury and one of fraud and forgery, unresolved

2013-14: 15 crimes; no charges; eight unresolved. Others - including an instance of trafficking controlled drugs - resulted in cautions or were resolved with no further action due to "evidential difficulties"

2014-15: 21 crimes; one charge (assault with injury); 13 investigations saw no suspect identified

2015-16: 18 crimes; one charge (assault without injury)

2016-17: 26 crimes; no charges; 18 investigations completed without a suspect being identified (offences included assaults and blackmail/spam emails from a university email address)

2017-18: 34 crimes; two charges (one for traffic offences and one for violent disorder)

Sexual offences recorded on University of Northampton premises (academic year / crime / location / police description of outcome):

2013/14 - Rape of female aged over 16 - hall of residence - suspect, no further action (evidential difficulties)

2014/15 - sex assault of female over 13 - Daventry University College - resolved, suspect, no further action, evidential difficulties

2014/15 - sex assault of female over 13 - park campus - no suspect identified

2015/16 - Rape of female over 16 - university grounds - victim declines, unable to support action to identify offender

2016/17 - Rape of female aged over 16 - collected from university car park - CPS, named suspect, victim supports but evidential difficulties

2017/18 - sex assault of female over 13 - park campus - police named suspect, victim evidential difficulties

2018/19 - sex assault - park campus - police named suspect, victim evidential difficulties

The crime statistics show that no-one has yet been arrested over the an incident at Waterside Campus in November where fireworks were launched at a crowd of terrified students.