Revealed: Police only solved one sexual and violent crime in Fallowfield last year
It’s well below the national average
Only one of the 57 reported sexual and violent crimes in Fallowfield last year has been solved, The Tab Manchester can reveal.
The figures also show that out of all 184 crimes reported in the Fallowfield area in 2017, only five per cent were solved.
This has come as a result of the Greater Manchester Police losing 2,000 officers since 2010 amid constant cuts to the force.
In total, 184 crimes were reported in Fallowfield during 2017, with only 4.93 per cent solved, well below the national average.
According to figures obtained by the Tab Manchester from police records, among these 184 crimes were 29 reports of thefts and burglaries, with only one solved.
4.7 million crimes were recorded in England and Wales in 2017, with a national average solve rate of 9.1 per cent, according to analysis by The Sunday Times.
In contrast to Fallowfield's low crime solve rate of five per cent, crime resolution statistics are as high as 10 per cent in other Manchester suburbs such as Cheadle and Cheadle Hulme.
The Tab Manchester analysed data from the police.uk database across each month of 2017. Looking at the Fallowfield (the Manchester 030F LSOA, to be precise) area, crime types and outcomes were categorised.
Manchester Gorton MP Azfal Khan blames "reckless cuts" in police numbers since 2010 and he says they face "extremely difficult circumstances".
Khan expressed concern that crime rose around the start of the academic year, when the student population returns, and said that he was in contact with students about it. Speaking to The Tab Manchester, he said: "I have met with student groups, and am in constant communication with Greater Manchester Police on this issue."
Placing the blame on cuts to police numbers, and praising the efforts of police officers in the face of this, he said: "As a former Greater Manchester Police Officer myself, I know that officers are doing the best they can in extremely challenging circumstances. Police numbers are at their lowest level in three decades, since 2010 GMP has lost 2,000 officers. We are now seeing the consequences of these reckless cuts."
Grace Fletcher-Hackwood, a Fallowfield Labour Councillor, voiced similar concern about crime rates increasing during September 2017. She told The Tab Manchester: "There are a number of reasons for this, but our view is that GMP losing a quarter of their officers since 2010 is unlikely to have helped."
When asked how students should ensure their own safety, she commented: "There are a few things we can all do as individuals, such as taking steps to keep ourselves and our property as safe as we can, making sure all incidents of crime and anti-social behaviour are reported, and lobbying the government for fairer police funding for Greater Manchester.
"As local councillors we'll continue to lobby the police locally, but ultimately there's only so much such an overstretched force can do."
A survey we completed in November 2017 asking students how safe they feel in Fallowfield posed the idea that police were more concerned with shutting down house parties than they were student safety.
The university's attitude to student safety reflects this view as well. In 2016, the Tab reported that the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University started a joint scheme to monitor "anti-social behaviour" in Fallowfield, hiring G4S security to shut down house parties during the Freshers period.
Speaking to the Tab Manchester, University of Manchester Maths student George Rollason said Greater Manchester Police seemed genuinely concerned about student safety, but expressed frustration that due to their workforce being overstretched, the process of dealing with the police "was a nightmare".
After being mugged at knifepoint on Mauldeth Road West in January, George was met with a quick response from GMP, but due to the lack of communication after his initial statement, he couldn't be present to testify against his muggers and the case remains unsolved.
In response to these figures, Greater Manchester Police say they are working to ensure student safety. Inspector Mike Smith from Greater Manchester Police told The Tab Manchester: "We work closely with our partners to reduce crime, take action against offenders and help students understand things they can do to help prevent themselves becoming victims of certain crimes.
"Each month we meet with our partners such as the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council, Manchester Student Homes and the student unions to share information and discuss initiatives to help keep students safe.
"We have dedicated student safe patrols and have strong links with each of the universities and work throughout the academic year to look after them through early intervention and targeted patrols. This is supported by security staff at the universities and Manchester City Council."
Greater Manchester Police mentioned they would be giving talks at the beginning of every academic year on safety and security, and suggested that students visit www.gmp.police.uk/studentsafe for more information.