• Friday, June 21, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

Leicester disorder review panel calls for evidence

The panel seeks to understand the events, their underlying reasons, and explore strategies to avoid similar incidents in the future

Lord Ian Austin (Photo: UK Parliament)

By: Pramod Thomas

A call for evidence has been launched on Tuesday (7) as part of an investigation into the civil unrest in Leicester in 2022.

Led by former Labour MP and minister Lord Ian Austin, the independent Leicester review panel seeks to understand the events, their underlying reasons, and explore strategies to avoid similar incidents in the future, media reports said.

The request for evidence aims to ‘gather testimony and insights’ from individuals involved and affected by the events.

The panel has reached out to residents, elected officials, as well as community and voluntary organisations as part of the process, the BBC reported.

It added that responses will shape the review’s conclusions and provide recommendations for both the city and government, expected to be released later this year.

“We want to support Leicester as it seeks to address its challenges, build on its strengths and work through the difficult events that took place in 2022. We want to hear from all those who know their city best and can help us create a comprehensive and inclusive review that delivers for the people of Leicester,” Lord Austin was quoted as saying.

In August and September 2022, tensions between Leicester’s Muslim and Hindu communities ignited, leading to days of violent disorder primarily involving young men.

This unrest culminated in vandalism, assaults, and property attacks concentrated in the city’s eastern region, following a cricket match between India and Pakistan.

Communities secretary Michael Gove commissioned a review in May 2023, as more than 70 individuals were arrested in connection to the disturbances.

Leicestershire Police, in March last year year, secured a £1.3 million grant to manage the repercussions of the disorder.

Lord Austin’s appointment to lead the review sparked significant controversy, with objections raised by city councillors, community organisations, and the Muslim Council of Britain, citing concerns over his perceived divisive track record and absence of legal expertise.

In response to his critics, he defended his position, adding his impartial approach and stating that he entered the process with a completely open mind.

A government spokesperson said the review would be “inclusive and representative”, and that the panel was “eager to hear from as many people as possible to ensure findings are inclusive and representative”.

“The panel seeks testimony and insight from all those involved and impacted by the civil unrest, as well as organisations with expertise in community cohesion,” the spokesperson said.

“All responses will be treated confidentially unless respondents opt to provide contact information for a follow up conversation. All those contributing should feel confident that their responses will be used to help better understand the unrest and contribute towards proposals on how to prevent such incidents happening in future.”

The deadline for submitting evidence is 4 June, with submissions accepted through the government website. Following the review, recommendations will be presented to both Leicester officials and the government later this year.

For more details, click here

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