The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Students petition for more police patrols in Fallowfield

Students “find it ridiculous that MPs will be debating ‘loud student parties’ in parliament this week, whilst next to nothing is being done to protect women that are being raped”.

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A petition has been launched calling on Greater Manchester Police to step up their presence in Fallowfield, after three high profile sexual offenses on students since September.

The petition, launched by Laura Fitzpatrick, comes after a student was dragged down an alley and raped on Friday night, as she walked home alone along Landybarn Lane.

Last month, a student was raped in an alleyway off Whitby and Filey road.

Back in September another was sexually assaulted after she left Pangaea by a man posing as a taxi driver.

It also comes after it emerged that this semester alone, there have been over reported 30 sexual assaults on students in South Manchester.

In response to the latest incident, Jess Lishak, Womens’ Officer at the University of Manchester Students’ Union, said, “I’m now writing these statements once a month. That’s three of our students who have been raped on our streets since this term began.

“But that’s just the high profile cases that made it into the news, the horrific and violent rapes that happened in the back of a taxi and down dark alleyways in the same area.

“My thoughts are with the woman who was raped walking home from a friend’s house in Fallowfield this weekend and all of the other women who have been subjected to sexual violence on our campus and all over the world. These three incidents are horrendous and upsetting, but unfortunately, they are just the tip of a very large iceberg”.

She added further, “the number of women students who feel (understandably) unsafe on their own streets is absolutely terrifying. It’s terrifying because it’s a huge issue, almost too huge to comprehend, and it’s affecting so many women all over the country and the world, and it’s difficult to even know where to start”.

Students have expressed their disgust that locals, police and John Leech MP have been accusing students of “unacceptable behaviour” for throwing large house parties, at a time when female students do not feel safe walking home alone at night.

The petition itself states that it “is an appeal to the Greater Manchester Police force to step up their patrols after dark in Fallowfield and focus their efforts on keeping students safe, rather than meeting quotas to shut down parties and check bus tickets”.

One student said “I find it ridiculous that MPs will be debating ‘loud student parties’ in parliament this week, whilst next to nothing is being done to protect women that are being raped”.

Another said, “I am a girl and I deserve to be able to walk around at night without fear. [Also] I am a Fallowfield resident and am afraid to walk around after 9pm in my own neighbourhood. I want girls to be able to reclaim the night time”.

You can sign the petition at, https://www.change.org/p/greater-manchester-police-step-up-patrols-in-fallowfield?recruiter=51182082&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_term=des-lg-share_petition-no_msg

Anyone with information regarding the offenses is asked to call the police on 0161 856 1983, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.