Murano Street mugging

Sarah Smith

A girl was mugged during Freshers’ Week, just metres from Murano Street Student Village, after walking home from a night out at the unions.

Rebecca Day, 19, and fellow first year student, Chris Forster, also 19, were almost back at the Murano Street Halls of Residence where they both live, when an unidentified woman threatened Rebecca before stealing her bag.

Chris ran after the mugger and managed to recover the bag, along with Rebecca’s mobile phone.

Speaking exclusively to Guardian, Rebecca described how the attack, in the early hours of the morning of September 20, came as a shock because they were minutes from home.

She said: “We were just walking over the bridge to the student village when we were accosted by a man and a woman.

“They asked if we had alcohol and when I said no, the woman started telling me to show her my bag.

“Then she started grabbing my hair and shouting at me. I took my bag off and gave it to her and she ran off.

“When she first grabbed me it wasn’t clear what she was trying to do because she was pulling my hair and yelling at me. She said she had a knife as well so it was frightening and quite upsetting.”

Chris Forster explained how he went after the couple in order to take back the bag.

He told Guardian: “Rebecca seemed upset so I followed them and asked for the bag back. When they heard me, they stopped and then the girl started shouting that she was going to pull a knife on me.

“She ended up throwing the bag at me and I was able to grab Rebecca’s phone.”

After Chris had managed to rescue the bag, he and Rebecca reported the crime to the security at Murano Street, who then contacted the police.

Strathclyde Police confirmed that the incident had taken place and that investigations were under way.

A spokesperson told Guardian: “A crime was reported at 2.35 a.m. on September 20. We have not yet made any arrests and our enquiries are ongoing.”

Chris said that even though there was the risk that the threats to use a knife could have been real, he would act in exactly the same way if caught in a similar situation in the future.

He explained: “I think it’s something anyone would have done. You can’t just stand there when someone’s had their bag stolen, you’ve got to do something.

“If she had pulled out a knife then I probably would have been a bit more careful but I would still have tried to get the bag back. I wouldm’t have been able to not do anything.”

Rebecca admitted to Guardian that she would now reconsider walking home after a night out, especially if she could take a taxi instead.

She said: “I probably wouldn’t walk home that late again. It’s a pretty unsafe area and what happened last week has definitely left me more paranoid and feeling a bit shaken up.”

Chris highlighted the fact that the reason the attack came as such a shock was because it happened in such close proximity to student residences.

He explained: “You assume that you’re safe because it’s so near halls. I will be walking home that way again because the only other way is too far to walk.”

Gavin Lee, President of the Students’ Representative Council, stressed how much importance the Glasgow University placed on helping to keep students as safe as possible.

He said: “Safety has always been an important student issue. The SRC provides a free minibus service at night-time from the university campus to Halls of Residence to ensure students get home as safely as possible.

“At weekends, shelling out a few quid on a taxi is worth it for your piece of mind.”


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