Alert after foreign students attacked in Lewes

Foreign students at an East Sussex college are being warned to be vigilant late at night after three attacks in the last three months.

Two 16-year-old boys were arrested and bailed after the latest incident, when nine Chinese students were attacked and robbed in De Montford Road, Lewes.

The teenagers from Uckfield have been bailed until February pending further investigations into Saturday's attack.

Another Chinese student was robbed in Mountfield Road in September.

Chief Insp Natalie Moloney said: "Reported attacks on these students are rare and fortunately no-one was seriously injured. However, one attack is one too many."

'Upsetting attacks'

Sussex Downs College, in Mountfield Road, enrols 400 international students from over 70 countries every year to study English language and academic and vocational courses.

Ms Moloney said neighbourhood police teams were working with the college to educate students on how to protect themselves.

"We want to encourage the students to contact the police immediately if they are worried about their safety," she said.

"It is also important that the language colleges and host families make sure the students know how to be more streetwise and that we get as much information as possible from the victims."

International manager of Sussex Downs College Mark Allen said the attacks were upsetting.

"The town derives considerable economic benefits from overseas students who spend money in local shops, restaurants, cafes and hotels," he said.

"Often students bring their family and friends to visit and then return for many years afterwards having built up a close connection to the town."

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