Police Target Student Drinking in Fallowfield
Police numbers have dramatically surged in the Fallowfield area recently, as a direct result of the recent new-student wave following the ringing in of a new academic year.
The police have brought with them a stark warning to those students, reminding them that drinking in a public area is a crime and will be treated as such.
It is a criminal offence to carry on drinking when told to stop by an officer, as detailed by the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
Whilst this can often be seen in action across student areas, it is enforced rather loosely at times. On any night of most weeks, said students are seen consuming alcohol in public spaces such as bus stops, between staggered trips to nearby bars or clubs.
In response, the police have pushed forward a new campaign in the Fallowfield area just in time for the new academic year.
Bus stops now have posters adorned upon their structures, making it explicitly clear that they are considered ‘alcohol free areas’, detailing the illegality of students drinking whilst waiting for the bus to take them onto their wild night out.
The main focus point of the campaign is to put victims at the forefront of the efforts. It is expected that local residents would be subjected to much less antisocial behaviour if students could not drink in residential areas. According to Greater Manchester Police, drinking in public is “an aggressive and destructive activity that intimidates, threatens and causes distress” that falls under the legal heading of antisocial behaviour.
The initiative also fans the flames of concern surrounding the act’s limiting and stifling effect on young people’s use of public spaces, particularly for those adhering to the law as they should be.
Police have been criticised by some for allegedly scapegoating students for being “loud” on nights out, as opposed to focusing on fighting the high levels of more serious crime in Fallowfield.
Over the past 13 years, the volume of antisocial behaviour cases has gone down every single year. Despite this, Manchester has once again finished top of the table for highest number of reported antisocial occurrences.
This trend shows us one of two things; either that Greater Manchester has a worse antisocial behaviour problem than the rest of the nation, or that people in the region are more likely to report incidents they consider to be “antisocial” to the authorities.