GMP: Why are you targeting house parties instead of keeping rapists off the streets?
‘I carry pepper spray to walk to the bus stop’
At around 11:45pm on a Saturday night, three police officers came to my house on Mauldeth Road to “shut down” my pre-drinks.
There was no music blaring, yet my housemates and I stood outside, shocked as the police noted down all of our names.
A week later MP John Leech has secured a discussion about “out of control” student parties and he wants a 24 hour complaint hotline for angry residents.
But the question has to be asked, were officers penalising “anti-social” students this Friday night when another woman was attacked, dragged into an alley and raped?
Thousands of residents, relatives, friends and prospective students are signing a petition calling for increased patrols in the area to combat the recent assaults.
They’re terrified of going out at night, and constantly living in fear. Some have admitted they’ve stopped going out after dark at all.
Second year Carey has felt forced to break the law in order to protect her own safety – carrying a home made “pepper spray” in her hand as she walks home from the bus stop. “I know it’s classed as an offensive weapon, but its better than being raped.”
The police are quick to tell women to take precautionary measures – walk in groups they say, don’t drink so much on a night.
You might even spot them on Edgerton or knocking on Whitby Road doors during the day.
But where are they at night? Are they at student gatherings smugly jotting down the names of “rowdy” pre-drinkers? Or maybe they’re busy confiscating games consoles from lairy lads who like playing FIFA late at night?
It’s important that we respect our neighbours, and anti-social behaviour does need addressing. But we can’t let this happen to another girl. 31 attacks is too many.
Greater Manchester Police need to step up their game now. We need them on the streets at night, as well as during the day.
Fallowfield should be patrolled with the utmost care and diligence to ensure it is no longer a matter of “luck” whether women are making it home untouched or not when working late to meet deadlines or visiting friends.
To sign the petition calling for more police patrols, click here.