Police crack down on happy slapping’ at UEA

Students have seen crime fall around UEA after a police crackdown on suspected "happy slapping" attacks filmed on mobile phones. Norfolk police despatched a community support officer to patrol the UEA campus after the series of robberies and assaults at the end of last year.

Students have seen crime fall around UEA after a police crackdown on suspected "happy slapping" attacks filmed on mobile phones.

Norfolk police despatched a community support officer to patrol the UEA campus after the series of robberies and assaults at the end of last year.

Students and nurses were forced to hand over cash as a "toll" to yobs as they crossed a bridge linking the college with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

Cyclists were also targeted in October - a rope being pulled in front of them as they cycled by.

But, yesterday, Insp Michelle Lillie said: "We took positive action to clamp down on this by using a number of measures including increasing our patrols both with uniformed and plain clothes officers.

"Officers based locally in Earlham have been working closely with UEA security personnel and CID colleagues to deter further incidents and this has been successful as we have not had any similar incidents in recent weeks."

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Since September 1 last year there has been one sexual assault in the area, three robberies and eight assaults among a community of about 15,000 students.

A spokesman for the police added: "We have also had recent successes in prosecuting two people who were responsible for burglaries on the campus and clamping down on a spate of 'happy slapping' incidents."

Francis Hamlyn, communications officer for the Union of UEA Students, said: "A combination of the police being more active and educating students living on campus about being careful and not walking alone at night has helped to bring the number of attacks down."