‘ISO­LATED IN­CI­DENT’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News -

PO­LICE have al­layed fears that the as­sault on the Dutch stu­dent may be part of a spate of at­tacks on for­eign stu­dents in Ash­ford. The in­ci­dent caused fear among host fam­i­lies, with some ad­vis­ing their young guests not to go out at night. But of­fi­cers say that this at­tack was iso­lated. South Kent Po­lice spokesman Jon Green said: “This was a fright­en­ing in­ci­dent for the young lad. But we be­lieve this was an iso­lated in­ci­dent and there is noth­ing to sug­gest he was tar­geted as a for­eign stu­dent.” Veron­ica Soper, a stu­dent host in Ash­ford, had voiced host fam­ily fears say­ing: “It has got to the point where the vis­it­ing stu­dents are not al­lowed to go out at night. It makes Ash­ford seem like a bad place.” Jan­ice Blundell, an ex­change visit or­gan­iser for Ash­ford, said: “We are pleased with the po­lice re­sponse to in­ci­dents such as this. “But we ad­vise for­eign stu­dents go­ing out in the evening never to carry their pass­ports. They are not needed and pho­to­copies can be used for iden­ti­fi­ca­tion. “They should also carry lim­ited amounts of money and few, if any, valu­ables.” Con­firmed re­ports of pre­vi­ous at­tacks on for­eign stu­dents over the years have come from other parts of east Kent, such as Shep­way and Thanet. Folke­stone set up a Shep­way Over­seas Li­ai­son Group as far back as 1997 to make sure for­eign stu­dents were not tar­geted by thieves. It was es­tab­lished with po­lice work­ing with Shep­way Coun­cil and lan­guage schools. There was a spate of at­tacks in the town in 2003 when one for­eign stu­dent was robbed at The Stade and three young Ger­mans were as­saulted in Rad­nor Park on the same day.

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