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27th September 2018

Manchester universities renew security firm contracts

Security firms operating night patrols in Fallowfield have had their contracts extend, and will operate in the area for a third year straight.
Manchester universities renew security firm contracts
Fallowfield, the South Manchester suburb where many students will return this month. Photo: James Shuttleworth @ The Mancunion

Both the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University have renewed their contracts with G4S in an attempt to keep noise at an acceptable level and reduce tension between students and permanent residents.

New measures could see students kicked out of the University over extreme noise complaint cases. This follows a number of clashes in areas of high student populations in recent years, with residents complaining about ‘rowdy’ student parties. In response to this, a series of Welcome Week events involving residents and incoming student tenants have been held to encourage the two groups to engage with one another.

Security patrols will operate at night in Fallowfield and Withington, both hotbeds of student housing, and will have the power to hit houses with noise abatement notices.

The teams will function as a group of ‘professional witnesses’, relaying any relevant information to the police; this will be supported by video recording equipment to capture any incidents involving rowdy students. They will not, however, have the power to enter any properties or to issue fines.

They will operate in force on some of the biggest nights of the year, to ensure student behaviour remains respectful. At peak times, patrols are expected to run from 10pm-6am.

They will further work alongside Manchester Student Homes to gather information about residents meetings, to use in conjunction with patrol teams.

The scheme has been running since 2016 when, in the first few weeks of term, 64 properties were visited by council officers handing out warnings. Despite this, it is believed that both residents and students alike welcome the proposals.

In addition to exclusion from university, students could face the seizure of noise-creating equipment, council visits and even prosecution in severe cases.

The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University released a joint statement, re-affirming their commitment to harmony in student areas, “both universities are committed to promoting positive relations between students and long-term residents.”

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