Thousands of students arriving at Greater Manchester’s universities have been given free personal safety kits.
With Freshers Weeks currently in full swing, and new and returning students in their thousands having now descended on Greater Manchester to attend many of the region’s world-renowned universities, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) says it’s “dedicated” to ensuring all who come to study within the area are safe.
The force has dished-out thousands of free personal safety kits containing anti-drink spiking items, personal attack alarms, crime prevention leaflets, and more.
Dedicated GMP officers in each of the three boroughs’ city and town centres are also currently conducting community engagement activities with new students, and are actively talking to them about personal safety, theft, burglary, and cybercrime.
On top of this, police are also out on patrol at evening and night times, and will be in both plain clothes and visibly uniformed.
They’ll be particularly targeting the region’s “high-traffic areas” and “crime hotspots”.
GMP says this is to ensure everyone continues to be safe, and are “free to enjoy themselves in Greater Manchester’s bustling night life”.
Students who have moved, or are moving to live within the Greater Manchester region for the first time are also being actively encouraged by police to “familiarise” themselves with their new area.
This includes checking out public transport routes that they may be regularly using, obtaining up-to-date contact details and information for licensed taxi companies in the region, and familiarising themselves with the safest routes between their homes, shops, university buildings, and favourite places.
After the North West had more reports of spiking than anywhere else in 2021 – with around 90% of those incidents taking place in central Manchester – GMP has also pledged to provide support and information for potential victims of spiking.
The force is now actively-telling students what to do if they think they’ve been spiked.
“We know it can be scary to report being spiked,” GMP said in a statement.
“But the police are here to help you, and we will listen to you and take you seriously. It is not a crime to have illegal drugs in your system (unless you are driving), so please don’t let this stop you reporting spiking.”
GMP recommends calling 999 or 101 immediately if you think you have been a victim of spiking, and encourages letting a member of staff know too if you’re in a bar or a club.
Featured Image – GMP
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”