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Police ‘saddened’ that a car break-in was reported to FSG before them

A car was left with a smashed window for eight hours

After a student's car parked on Landcross Road in Fallowfield had a brick thrown through the rear window on Saturday, Greater Manchester Police expressed sadness that the incident was reported to Fallowfield Student Group (FSG) rather than them directly.

Amber Kane, a Geology student at the University of Manchester, posted a photo of the damage to the Fallowfield Students Group on Facebook at around 3pm on Saturday.

Around five hours later, a housemate of the car's owner saw the post and sent him a text to let him know. At 9pm, police came across the owner whilst on patrol. This was the first time they were made aware of the incident.

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In a tweet, GMP urged students to use their online crime reporting system. However when the owner of the car discovered it had been vandalised, the service was broken.

Police then knocked on doors along Landcross Road and discovered several people had noticed the damage as early as lunchtime, but none reported the incident.

GMP commented via Twitter that it "saddens" them that a vehicle break-in on "a busy pedestrian road" went unreported for at least eight hours, despite being shared online.

Speaking to The Manchester Tab, Amber Kane said that she was walking home from Sainsbury's with a friend around 2:30pm when they spotted the damaged car. They took photos and noted the registration number, which she initially showed to her housemates.

They believed the incident would have "surely have been reported, especially seeing as it was almost 3pm, and there's always people walking down that road".

They agreed they should post it on Facebook "just in case it helped".

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Greater Manchester Police Fallowfield said: "Landcross Road is a busy road for pedestrian traffic and it saddens me that this vehicle was sitting there vulnerable for eight hours at least and not one person phoned the police in relation to it.

"Please help us help you by reporting crime! Often people are too quick to criticise the police for not responding to crime, we have no chance if it doesn’t get reported to us."

GMP are keen to raise awareness that non-emergency incidents such as this can now be reported via the live chat feature on their website.

Amber told us she wasn't aware of this, but that if she was, she would have reported the crime online, commenting: "It would have taken the same amount of time as it did to write the post, plus I wouldn’t have felt like it was a waste of their time if it had already been reported."

At the time of writing, the Greater Manchester Police live chat service was unavailable, though service has since been restored.

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The error message displayed when trying to access online crime reporting on Monday morning

Amber said she thinks people don't report crime due to a combination of how long it takes to report incidents to the police and the assumption something has already been reported. She told The Manchester Tab: "It is wrong to make the assumption but I think that’s probably how it is most of the time."

Replies posted to GMP's plea complained of waiting on hold for over half an hour when calling the 101 non-emergency line.

Another complained that despite the break-in to her car being caught on CCTV, the police told her they had no resources available to watch the footage.