Police work with university after sexual assault allegations

A number of anonymous accounts have been shared by an Instagram page called St Andrews Survivors.

Police have said they are working with St Andrews University after multiple allegations of sexual assault have been made by students.

A number of anonymous accounts have been shared by an Instagram page called St Andrews Survivors, which aims to “empower survivors… by amplifying their stories”.

They include allegations of rape and sexual assault from students during their time at the university.

The university’s proctor has since met with the account creator to establish how they “can work together to signpost support and reporting mechanisms to students who require them.”

St Andrews has also confirmed plans to introduce a compulsory orientation module for the upcoming academic year, which will require students to learn more about consent and sexual assault before matriculating.

Police said they have not had anything reported to them at this stage but are aware of the online reports.

They have said they are working with the university to make students “feel safe while they live and study” in the Fife town.

Yvonne Stenhouse, community inspector, said: “We are aware of these online reports and are working with the university to make sure students in St Andrews feel safe while they live and study in the town.

“We are committed to bringing sexual offenders before the courts and treat all reports of sexual crime with the utmost seriousness. Anyone wishing to report such offences should do so to Police Scotland by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“Within busy town centres, such as St Andrews, we have regular deployments of officers to deter such offences and provide a visible and reassuring presence to our communities.

“We will continue to work with the university on this matter and any criminal complaints will be progressed accordingly.”

Earlier this month, the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at St Andrews University, which is not an official university society, said it “was made aware of allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and rape” against multiple members of the fraternity.

A statement added they found the contents of the allegations “abhorrent” and are “taking them extremely seriously”.

The fraternity said it has suspended all members involved in current allegations.

A statement from the university said it welcomed the St Andrews Survivors account’s “efforts to provide people of all genders a space to voice their experiences of sexual misconduct.”

It also said not all accounts shared by the Instagram page occurred at St Andrews and some predated students’ time there.

A spokeswoman added: “The proctor met with the account creator this week to establish how we can work together to signpost support and reporting mechanisms to students who require them.

“It is categorically untrue to suggest the university tried to suppress survivor testimonies, as the account creator has made clear.

“The university’s primary concern is to ensure survivors know that we are ready and willing to support their decisions and take action, facilitate police reporting, and provide ongoing support accordingly.

“We appreciate these are difficult issues to speak about, but our student services team has a 90% satisfaction rating amongst students, and survivors who wish to see perpetrators investigated must be willing to make reports through the appropriate channels.

“We have clear and established procedures for investigating allegations of this nature. However, the details of any investigations must remain confidential to offer appropriate support and fair outcomes to all concerned. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on whether any specific individual or group is under investigation.

“The university will always act when incidents are formally reported, and is committed to working collaboratively with students to promote a culture of responsibility and respect, in which everyone can trust in our procedures and that our community is intolerant of all forms of sexual misconduct.”