Just in-time for the influx of (re)freshers into Manchester, many are calling to re-address one of the biggest topics on students’ minds in Fallowfield: crime.
In Greater Manchester, burglars are using new techniques which make these crimes even more common. For example, ‘Cylinder Snapping’ PVC door locks, which are a common feature of many student homes.
The burglary risk in Greater Manchester is especially high; there were a reported 12 crimes of burglary per 1000 people in 2017 in the Greater Manchester region, compared to a national average of 8 burglaries per 1000 people.
Yet for many, burglaries are more than just losing valuable possessions. One third-year student whose house got broken into last year described their experience of burglary as “not just about the stuff they took, it’s more the issue of not feeling safe, feeling violated and vulnerable in my own home”. These crimes can create lasting psychological effects on victims, which can taint their student experience.
Some argue that responsibility lies with students’ landlords to ensure homes have secure locks which cannot easily be tampered with. Others suggest students need to be made more aware of the risks unique to these student neighbourhoods.
These risks can be seen on the Fallowfield Student Group on Facebook where students can stay updated on the local crime. Posts are made by students to inform other students of crimes and potential hotspots of activity. However, a third-year student commented on the group stating that “students need to still report these crimes to the police, not just to the Facebook group”.
The University of Manchester told The Mancunion: ““The safety of our students is our first concern and of the utmost importance to the University.
“We will reach hundreds more students with information on campus and in accommodation during Welcome Week, where we also hand out equipment including light timers and personal alarms. We issue ongoing targeted communications to accredited landlords regarding safety and security.
“Students should report all crimes to the police and any student who needs support should contact the Students’ Union or the University’s support services.”