The charity Police Now were advocating for the police in the Students’ Union building, despite the passing of a recent ‘cops off campus’ policy at last month’s Union Assembly.
Two members of the charity, who run a graduate scheme offering “a structured route into policing” were trying to add students to a mailing list. This is despite their stall in the Students’ Union being cancelled.
The stall was cancelled due to a vote led by group Cops off Campus at the Union Assembly, which led to the Students’ Union adopting an anti-police stance.
This means that police, and police-affiliated groups, such as Police Now, are unwelcome on the premises of the Students’ Union, excluding times in which it might be a matter of safety.
One student reported that they were offered cake if they filled in a form for the mailing list.
The organisation described itself as “a charity to increase diversity and inclusion in the police force”.
This does appear to be part of the charity’s mission – which their website describes as “recruiting, developing and inspiring outstanding and diverse individuals to be leaders […] on the policing frontline”.
Cops off Campus, the group responsible for promoting the policy, spoke to The Mancunion, saying:
“Cops Off Campus have been made aware of members of Police Now approaching students in the Student Union building today to promote their mailing list. This is blatant disrespect for the democratically passed policy of the student union which bans police and police-affiliated groups like Police Now from the Student Union.
In the policy students made it clear that we believe the presence of the police makes students, particularly from marginalised backgrounds, unsafe. A complaint has been lodged with the Student Union. We encourage students to get in touch with us if they see further breaches of this policy.”
The University of Manchester Students’ Union has been contacted for comment.