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​Students Tear Down 'Lockdown' Fences Erected By Manchester University

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​Students Tear Down 'Lockdown' Fences Erected By Manchester University

Students have torn down 'lockdown' fencing erected by the University of Manchester after it suddenly appeared yesterday.

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The university came under fire from students after it installed metal fencing around halls of residences at its Fallowfield campus, including Owens Park and Unsworth Park.

The University of Manchester had said earlier in a statement earlier in the day that the fences were put in place as a security measure, as England entered its four-week lockdown.

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However, at around 8pm last night, hundreds of students gathered in protest, with footage and photos from the campus showing some people dismantling the fencing in anger.

Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures
Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures

Many took to social media to express their frustration, with Amy Charlton telling Good Morning Britain today: "People even who don't have anxiety are going to feel uptight and on-edge about this - you feel encaged."

Fellow student Molly Harcourt said the situation has been 'really difficult' to deal with, adding: "With the university not being clear with us or communicating that well why they're implementing what they did."

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Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures
Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures

Shortly after the protests broke out, the University of Manchester issued a statement that said the fences would be 'taken down' on Friday morning.

Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell, President and Vice-Chancellor said: "I sincerely apologise for the concern and distress caused by the erecting of a fence around our Fallowfield Halls of Residence today.

"This was not our intention - in fact quite the reverse.

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"The fencing was intended as a response to a number of concerns received over recent weeks from staff and students on this site about safety and security; particularly about access by people who are not residents.

"There was never any intent to prevent students from entering or exiting the site.

Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures
Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures

"The fences are being taken down from Friday morning and students are being contacted immediately. Alternative security measures, including additional security patrols are being put in place.

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"I apologise once again for the issues caused by this incident."

A previous statement issued earlier in the day expressed regret over beginning to install the fences without notifying students first.

"Regrettably the fencing began to be installed ahead of the message being seen by halls students," it said.

"We apologise for any worry that this has caused and would like to reiterate that all students who live on site can continue to come and go freely."

Featured Image Credit: Joel Goodman/London News Pictures

Topics: UK News, lockdown, News, Coronavirus

Jess Hardiman
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