Two men have been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault, following three attacks committed in the heart of Cardiff University’s student centre.
During a press conference held earlier today, Chief Supt Belinda Davies told the media: “My message is one of zero tolerance towards anyone who commits these appalling crimes.
“Crimes like this are never the victim’s fault, but I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to follow basic safety advice so they keep themselves and their friends safe.”
The arrests follow today’s announcement that a third sexual assault had been committed in close proximity to Cardiff University, following two other reported incidents in the last five days.
This morning police reported that a 19-year-old girl was attacked at 4:40am in Gorsedd Gardens outside the National Museum, minutes away from the Students’ Union.
The latest assault has been described by authorities as ‘serious’, as they cordoned off the area in order to continue their investigations.
The news follows after two previous attacks in the last five days, one of which took place on Tuesday morning on the student-populated street Cathays Terrace.
Two days previously, on Sunday September 20th, a 20-year-old woman was also assaulted in the Cardiff Civic Centre area close to the main university building.
Such close proximity to the university proves especially concerning given the high number of students going out during Fresher’s week, with nightly club events at the Students’ Union.
Despite all three attacks taking place within a one-mile radius, police were unsure whether the crimes were committed by the same individual.
But following an initial arrest on Thursday afternoon police moved to arrest a second person, a 40-year-old male. The first person arrested, a 22-year old male, remains in custody
Talking to the media, Superintendent Andy Valentine said: “While there are similarities in terms of the locations, times and nature of the offence, it is too early to say whether the same man is responsible.
“We are working extremely hard to identify who is responsible and the victims are being supported by specially trained officers.”
In response to the attacks, a security team is currently visiting student residences in order to inform students and discuss personal safety.
A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “We’re in consultation with our Students’ Union and are discussing appropriate measures to help ensure our students’ safety.”
“We encourage anyone affected by these events to speak to someone in Student Support,” he added.
Members of the Union have also taken to social media to warn students, tweeting ‘Cardiff is a great city to live in but we encourage you all to look after yourselves when you go out at night.’
Those going out are encouraged to take taxis and to remain in pairs and groups. The University would also like to remind students of their partnership with Dragon Taxis, allowing students to return home even when they do not have enough money at the time.
Addressing locals via Twitter Cardiff Central MP Jo Stevens said: ‘Cardiff Central women, especially students, please be extra vigilant. Don’t walk home alone.’