Increased patrols after sex attacks

Dunedin police are stepping up their presence in the city's student quarter after three women were sexually assaulted in just over an hour last Friday night.

Police yesterday revealed there were two separate attacks in North Dunedin between 8pm and 9.30pm, the first between 8pm and 8.30pm at a Dundas St flat.

Police said a man - in his 20s with short hair, dark skin and wearing shorts and a T-shirt - entered a room and assaulted two 19-year-old women.

Officers were called to the address just before 9pm.

The second incident occurred between 9.15pm and 9.30pm in Leith Way, less than a kilometre from the site of the first attack.

Police said a woman was walking north towards the University College residential hall, when she was pushed over and sexually assaulted by a Caucasian man in his early 20s.

The man was described as being of medium build, 180cm tall with long, dark, curly hair that was tied back.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis said police were ``keeping an open mind in respect of whether these two attacks are connected''.

``A team of 10 staff is investigating these incidents. Scene examinations are complete and the large job of scrutinising CCTV footage is under way.

``All three victims are extremely traumatised by what's happened and are receiving strong support.''

A police spokeswoman last night confirmed there would be additional police patrols in the area as the investigations continued.

A University of Otago spokeswoman said it was advising residents in the area to take precautions, such as keeping doors and windows locked, and for people not to walk the area alone at night.

``This is useful advice we would give regardless of any reports to police,'' she said.

Campus Watch staff provided 24-hour security services and patrols, and would continue to do so, she said.

The group also offered the safety patrol which could provide people transport from the university to their home late at night and early morning from Wednesday to Saturday. Anyone concerned about walking home late at night could contact the Campus Watch security control room on 0800 479-5000.

Police wanted to hear from anyone who might have information that could help, by contacting police on (03) 471-4800, or by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 if they wished to remain anonymous..


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