Matt Harvison, student at the University of Manchester, created the petition on Thursday the 5th of October. He told The Mancunion, “I thought it was important to finally raise some sort of awareness of the daily issues facing students living in and around the Fallowfield area.
“Burglaries, muggings, sexual assault and other violent crime are all real issues happening regularly within Fallowfield, however since the start of the latest academic year there has been an influx of house burglaries.
“Some action needs to be taken”
Incidents of violent crime have taken place this week. The Mancunion reported on a recent spree of muggings. One victim said “he was hit over the head with a crowbar and then received a surface knife wound after refusing to give over his phone and wallet, whilst his friend had his phone stolen.
The victim told The Mancunion “I noticed there was two men in front of me, both around 25, one white, sort of skinny with what I think was a gingery beard and one of darker skin colour with a mask and a bit bigger build. One had a knife, one had a crowbar.”
In the early hours of Monday the 9th of October, one student told Fallowfield Students Facebook group to “be careful tonight in Fallowfield,” claiming there had been “been 4 attacks in the fallowfield area by a group of lads on mopeds with machetes.”
The petition has reached nearly 6000 signatures. “It is pretty simple, I want to feel safe in my own home and on the streets of Fallowfield, particularly after dark,” said its creator.
Another said “the student community is an important part of Manchester and should not be the hunting ground for petty criminals.”
Burglaries too have been on the rise. Reports on Facebook have described broken windows and students being locked in their rooms while intruders robbed valuables in the house.
Some have asked whether this is a case of poor safety precautions taken by students or a result of poor maintenance by private landlords and/or letting agents. One of those who signed the petition asked “how might police and universities work with private landlords to ensure decent doors and back gates are fitted?”
G4S presence in Fallowfield has also been questioned. The notorious security company were hired to stop house parties. The Police and University’s priorities have been criticised and it has been questioned why more hasn’t been put into stopping assaults and burglaries.
Matt Harrison said, “I’m not very well acquainted with the G4S in Fallowfield, in fact I didn’t even know this was a thing until people posted it on the Facebook discussion. I can only think these guards are patrolling the university owned halls and accommodation, not on the dark roads that many of Fallowfield’s students live down.
“Our streets are dimly lit and there are little to no police patrolling the area, only stood at bus stops checking whether people have paid for their £1.50 bus tickets!”
Matt spoke on BBC radio Manchester about crime in Fallowfield and encouraged people to sign the petition.
To sign the petition follow this link.
We’re still waiting for comments from Greater Manchester Police, The University of Manchester, and the Student’s Union. The Mancunion is conducting a wider investigation into the assaults happening in Fallowfield. Please help by filling out our survey.