Updated: Sunday, 12th July 2020 @ 9:02am

Sex attacks in South Manchester leave women feeling scared and vulnerable

Sex attacks in South Manchester leave women feeling scared and vulnerable

By Connie Primmer

Police have increased their presence on the streets after a sex attacker struck again last night in South Manchester.

A woman in her 40s was assaulted on Hart Road near Platt Field Park, Fallowfield, at around 9pm.

This is the latest in a string of sex attacks in the area, which Greater Manchester Police (GMP) believe are linked.

Superintendent Stuart Barton, based at Longsight Police Station, said: "It is only natural that people will be concerned about these assaults on women and young girls - especially as it follows the recent rape of a student in Fallowfield.”

GMP officers are stationed at Fallowfield Sainsbury’s to speak to residents, and there is an increased police presence on the streets.

Fallowfield is a predominantly student area and as a result there are frequently young women making their way home late at night, often under the influence of alcohol.

With the nights drawing in, more women are finding that even their walk home from university or work is under the cover of darkness.

After the recent sex attacks many young women are feeling vulnerable.

Laura Davenhall, a 21 year old Fallowfield resident said: "The attacks have made a lot of us feel very on edge and unsafe. None of my friends want to walk anywhere on their own now, even just down the road.

“It has really affected how I go about my daily life. I can’t just walk back from the bus stop in the evening, I have to get someone to meet me. All the recent attacks have really shaken everyone up.”

Miss Davenhall added: “There has been a noticeable increase in the amount of police patrolling the area which is quite comforting.

“I think everyone just needs to look out for each other, especially after nights out."

However, Withington student Rosie Stanyer, 21, says that not everyone is taking the attacks seriously.

She said: “I saw a poster at a bus stop warning women to be careful. Someone had graffitied it so that the words ‘Stop Rape’ were changed to ‘Rape’ and ‘Never walk alone’ was ‘Walk alone’.

“I just thought it was really sick considering what has happened to some of the girls in this area."

Miss Stanyer also said that she hasn’t felt the increased police presence.

She said: “Although there are lots of police in central areas of Fallowfield, here in residential areas of Withington where a student was horrifically raped last week, I haven’t noticed any police and I feel quite scared.”

The offender who attacked the woman last night and possibly a number of others previously, is described as an Asian man between 5ft 4in and 6ft, medium to chubby build and round faced. He had short dark hair and dark eyes and was wearing a grey hooded top or a dark jacket, light baggy trousers and dark shoes.

Superintendent Stuart Barton added: “There is a dedicated team of detectives working on this and we are appealing for anyone else who believes they may be a victim or may know this man, to get in touch.”

They are working with the local community to raise awareness of safety.

Anyone with information call police on Longsight CID 0161 856 4245 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault can contact Greater Manchester Police on 0161 872 5050 or 999 in an emergency.