Sexual assault probe at Hatfield nightclub

The Forum Hertfordshire in Hatfield is closed and the University of Hertfordshire 2020 Summer Ball c

A man from Hatfield has been arrested and is on bail. - Credit: Archant

The students union at Herts Uni has stressed that the wellbeing and safety of its members are a number one priority following an alleged sexual assault at a Hatfield nightspot.

A woman in her 20s said she was sexually assaulted at The Forum nightclub, a venue in Hatfield that is managed by the University of Hertfordshire's Students' Union.

Herts police are investigating a "sexual assault by touching" which took place at the club between 1.30am and 2.15am on Sunday November 1. 

A 22-year-old man from Hatfield was immediately arrested at the scene on suspicion of sexual assault. He has been bailed, with conditions, until Monday November 29.

A spokesperson from Hertfordshire Students’ Union stressed:  “The wellbeing of our students and staff is always our number one priority. Hertfordshire Students' Union is committed to our #NeverOK campaign, which focuses on ensuring that our students are safe, and can access appropriate support when needed.

"We continue to work closely with the University, including the Security and Student Wellbeing teams, as well as Hertfordshire Constabulary to make our campus as safe as possible for everyone in our community.”

While police were dealing with this incident, they also received a report of a disorder that had broken out at the club. Three people were subsequently arrested in connection with this.

The assault comes just two days after students at the university took part in the Girls Night In campaign to protest against the rise in drink spiking and gendered violence by boycotting nightclubs and bars.

And it coincided with an exhibition by the university's criminology students and sexual assault charity, Red Kite, which displayed facsimiles of the clothes people were wearing when they were raped or sexually assaulted.

The union's #NeverOK campaign states that the Union has "a zero-tolerance approach to any forms of discrimination, harassment or hate crimes within our membership, services and venues". This includes, among other initiatives, training all staff working at The Forum "to ensure that they can better understand, respond to, and prevent sexual harassment and assault in our venues".

Anyone in Hertfordshire who has experienced sexual violence can contact the Herts Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) for support. The centre can arrange face-to-face support, sexual health referrals, and provide forensic medical examinations for those who want them. Call the 24/7 helpline on 0808 178 4448, email Herts.SARC@nhs.net or visit www.hertssarc.org.

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Any witnesses or anyone with information on the alleged assault should call 101 quoting crime reference 41/84987/21.

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