A woman has appeared in court and UK police have detained another after nine female Chinese students were struck on the head in separate attacks in Sheffield, England. The assaults happened in the city centre between September 7 and 26. All the victims were foreign students at the University of Sheffield. Police have charged 33-year-old former University of Sheffield student Shan He with two counts of assault and possession of an offensive weapon. She was arrested at her home in Sheffield earlier this week and appeared in court on Tuesday and Wednesday, local media reported. A second woman, also aged 33, was also detained in connection with seven attacks while an investigation takes place, South Yorkshire police said. Police declined to offer more details on the second suspect. “We won’t be releasing any further details about the suspect who is under arrest in connection with the other seven incidents unless/until there is a charge,” a spokesperson for South Yorkshire police told South China Morning Post on Thursday . “There are a number of legal complexities with this case.” The victims suffered bloody injuries when they were struck on the head from behind with some kind of weapon. Photos of the victims’ blood-soaked clothes and hair were widely shared on Chinese social media and published in Chinese and UK local media. A Chinese student told Chinese language media outlet Cover News the two women who allegedly carried out the assaults were carrying a bag with heavy implements, looking for people to attack. The comments were also carried by Chinese state-run CGTN. The Chinese consulate in Manchester earlier this week issued a statement in Chinese on WeChat, saying it had written to the university’s president urging it to work with the police to guarantee the safety of Chinese students. The statement said the consulate would be liaising closely with the university and police. Asians in UK tackle racism after violent hate attacks: ‘we know the problem is global’ About 16 per cent of students at the University of Sheffield are from China, and are a big income generator. Chinese students contribute an estimated £85 million (US$114 million) a year in fees, about 26 per cent of the university’s tuition income, The Sunday Times reported. “We were saddened to learn of these incidents and are doing everything we can to support the students involved and assist the police in their investigation,” a University of Sheffield spokesperson said. “The safety and well-being of our students is always our top priority and we take incidents like this extremely seriously. We are committed to ensuring that all our students and staff have confidence that they study, work and live in a safe and inclusive environment.” The assaults in Sheffield came amid an alarming increase in hate crimes against east Asians in the UK during the pandemic. In the city of Cambridge last month, 25-year-old former Cambridge University student Zhang Yuanzhao suffered a broken nose and needed facial surgery after the was attacked by a group of teens in the dairy aisle of a supermarket. ‘Chinese virus, get out!’: lecturer from China beaten in Britain “It felt like someone twisting my ear quite hard from behind,” he told CambridgeLive. “I could feel the pain immediately. I was a bit shocked so I turned back and saw this group of teenagers, roughly age 16 or 17, just kind of staring at me. “They shouted some racial slurs at me and I shouted back. I just wanted to get out of the situation, so I went forward and pushed through, but things got physical. I defended myself as well, but I was outnumbered. They quickly all started punching me. “I could feel the punches from different directions. I got my nose broken and one of them saw. He yelled ‘his nose is broken’ and they all just ran away.” Chairman of the Cambridge Chinese Federation, Andy Tse, told CambridgeLive that he had never witnessed attacks like this in the 30 years he had lived in the city. “These are intentional attacks on our Chinese community and this is quite shocking,” he said. “They’re threatening violence against us, throwing things such as stones, drinks and carrying out an actual physical attack on us. We’re deeply worried for our own safety.” Tse said the attacks were aimed at people of Chinese appearance, some of the victims as young as 15. In an attack last Saturday, a group of boys chased down a Chinese cyclist. “It was reported to the police and around six to seven officers came and spoke to the attackers, but they didn’t make any arrests. It’s come to a point that there is no police for us and we have to protect ourselves,” Tse said.