Despite increase in violent crime, UoM and MMU will fund house party patrols for a second year running

G4S will be continuing to shut down parties in Fallowfield and Withington, while students are attacked in the streets

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University will, for a second year running, fund night-time patrols in Fallowfield and Withington with the aim of shutting down loud house parties.

G4S started patrolling the area just before Freshers Week, and will continue to do so until the 5th of November – with the firm returning in May and June 2018.

Despite the rise in violent crime this year, which has seen thugs stalking the streets armed with knives and crowbars, both UoM and MMU have failed to address the issue and are instead focusing on student anti-social behaviour.

Increasingly, the Fallowfield Students Facebook group (formerly Fallowfield Buy/Sell), has been flooded with posts about burgalries and violent muggings. Whilst Fallowfield and Withington have been targeted in previous years, the frequency of violent crime and theft is on the rise and, frustratingly, it seems that little is being done to stop it.

StreetCheck reports that in August 2017, before the majority of students had moved in, there was 92 reports of burgalry, 52 cases of vehicle crime, and a staggering 126 incidents of 'violence and sexual offences' in Fallowfield and Withington alone.

A list of reported burglaries in August 2017, data taken from StreetCheck.

A list of reported burglaries in August 2017, data taken from StreetCheck.

This is why it feels like such a kick in the teeth that both UoM and MMU are employing G4S to monitor house parties. They are, of course, a problem – for residents and families who live in the local area, a large party can be disturbing, disrespectful and downright annoying. But why is there such an emphasis on cracking down on partying, when sexual assault, robbery and mugging have became an almost everyday occurrence?

The Manchester Evening News reported in September 2017 that, "The student suburb has become notorious for rowdy house parties which have made life a misery for some residents." UoM and Man Met, in a joint statement, proclaimed that the night-time patrols will provide "reassurance and support" as they get tough on anti-social student behaviour.

Yes – we like to have fun. But there is such an emphasis on how we are anti-social, booze chugging party animals, and next to nothing on how we are targeted, assaulted, and worried about walking home after dark. If I were to amend the M.E.N's statement about Fallowfield, it would read "The student suburb has become notorious for violent crime which has made life a misery for students."

If UoM and MMU are so eager to provide "reassurance and support" to residents and students, perhaps they can start with using their resources to help address the 126 violent and sexual offences or the 92 burgalries. Take action now, and we'll turn the music down once we're safe.

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