Manchester University has already spent £835,000 on security this year

They’re projected to spend £118k more on security this year than last


The University of Manchester has already spent £835,000 on security for this academic year.

Manchester Uni’s use of security has come under fire in recent weeks, with fences put up around halls and allegations against security guards. The Manchester Tab can reveal that the university’s spending is set to outstrip the previous year’s.

Figures obtained by The Manchester Tab reveal £835k was spent on security by the university until the end of September.

They are forecast to spend £5.4 million on security this whole year, which will be £118,000 more than the £5.283 million last year.

The figures also showed that a total of £309,776 has been spent on PPE across various faculties, and £220,000 on meals for students self-isolating in non-catered halls. Staff delivering parcels was also signposted as a significant resource cost.

In the past two weeks, the university’s security measures have come under media attention.

The university has now suspended security guards and launched an investigation after a student was allegedly “racially profiled” last week, saying guards said he “looked like a drug dealer”.

The university said: “We are deeply concerned by these images. We have spoken to the student concerned, launched a full investigation and have suspended the security officers (without prejudice) pending the results of this investigation.”

Following the announcement of a second national lockdown earlier this month, the university spent £11,000 on fences put up around Fallowfield halls as “new security measures”, with students saying they hadn’t been given any warning.

Though the university said the fences would be taken down the next day, a protest went ahead that night in which students tore down the fencing. The university apologised and said they had launched an “immediate inquiry”, the results of which will be published by the end of the month. 

Elsewhere, student rent-strikers occupying Owens Park Tower said they were stopped from getting food deliveries by security. However, a university spokesperson later said the students “are able to receive food deliveries.”

In a statement about the fences, President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell said: “I want to apologise again for the distress caused by putting up the fence yesterday and the very poor communication surrounding this.

“I am determined to find out what went wrong and to learn from it. As a matter of urgency, I have commissioned an inquiry into these events. This will be conducted by Professor Clive Agnew, a former Vice-President for Teaching, Learning and Students, and our intention is to also include a former Students’ Union Officer.

“They will examine how and, for what reasons, the decision to erect the fence around the residences on the Fallowfield campus was taken and how this decision was – or wasn’t – communicated to students. The report will be submitted by the end of November and we will publish the full report as soon as possible for all to see.

“I will also be meeting with student representatives from the Fallowfield residences as soon as possible, together with our Director for the Student Experience, Dr Simon Merrywest.

“I know the events of yesterday were distressing for many students on a personal level at what is already a very difficult time. I’m sorry for that. I also regret that our actions led to protests and unrest at the residences last night. The fence has been removed today and, in consultation with students, additional security measures will be put in place to help to keep all of our residents safe.

“We would like students to write to us with suggestions about how we can improve safety across our campus sites. Please contact [email protected] with your suggestions.

“If you have been affected by anything that has happened either yesterday or during your time with us so far, or just want to speak to someone then our counselling and support services are available to you. Advice and Response staff will be present at the Fallowfield site next week for one-on-one sessions and we will be holding check in and chat sessions over Zoom. Details of these arrangements will be sent shortly. You can also speak to your ResLife advisors for wellbeing or any other concerns.

“Finally, I want to reiterate that I am truly sorry for the events of yesterday.”

The University of Manchester has been contacted for further comment.

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