SU criticises Mbargo's lax approach to safety following alleged sexual assault


By Benjamin Salmon, Deputy News Editor

Bristol SU has criticised clubs that do not work hard enough to ‘tackle incidents of sexual harassment and assault on their premises’ in the wake of an alleged attempted sexual assault in the Bristol club, Mbargo.

After news of an alleged assault in the Mbargo toilets in July, Bristol SU has criticised the club for not signing the Bristol Zero Tolerance pledge, despite many other clubs in Bristol having done so. The pledge is an initiative which campaigns on ending gender-based violence, harassment and exploitation.

Speaking to Epigram, Jason Palmer, the Bristol SU Equality, Liberation and Access Officer said: ‘Sexual violence in all its forms should not be tolerated in our student body or wider society.

‘Clubs should be working harder to tackle incidents of sexual harassment and assault on their premises, to protect us all when we go out. We work with a number of clubs who have signed the Bristol Zero Tolerance pledge.’

News of the assault comes in advance of Welcome Week, where thousands of new Bristol students will be looking to safely enjoy nights out around the city.

Bristol SU have stressed that ‘the responsibility to stop sexual harassment and assault on nights should not fall on those likely to experience it, but there are steps we can take to be safer.

‘Some advice would be to have a bite to eat before you go out, keep an eye on your own and your friend’s drinks, don't feel pressured to drink more than you want to, and have a plan to get home safely.’

Police are still appealing for witnesses to the incident at Mbargo and are encouraging anyone who has information on the man pictured in this article to contact them with information.

An Avon and Somerset Police Spokesperson said: ‘Anyone who recognises the man in the image is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5219157430.

‘You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

‘No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.’