Leeds on alert after attacks on students


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The Independent Online

Security has been stepped up at one of Britain's leading universities after an outbreak of "town and gown" violence.

Ten people – including six students - were assaulted and robbed of their smartphones and cash during a series of seven attacks by gangs of hooded youths in an area close to University of Leeds halls of residence on Wednesday. Two required hospital treatment.

It followed an earlier spate of 10 violent muggings - five against students - on bonfire night weekend around the Woodhouse and Hyde Park areas of the city. Students described how they were surrounded by a gang up to 20 youths who demanded they hand over their possessions. One first-student year said he was punched to the ground while another said attackers had repeatedly stamped on his jaw.

The robberies have spread fear among Leeds' 30,000 student population and prompted threats from parents to withdraw their children from the university. West Yorkshire Police said four people have been arrested in connection with the first robberies while a further six people have been held in connection with this week's attacks.