• Friday, April 19, 2024


Review into communal violence in Leicester likely to finish by March next year

Dr Chris Allen, the expert who is leading the review, has around two decades of experience in research into hate crime.

FILE PHOTO: Unplanned protest by groups of young men in East Leicester. (Photo credit: Twitter)

By: Pramod Thomas

An investigation into the violence and disorder in east Leicester will focus on reasons which led to the unfortunate incidents, according to a report.

The expert who is leading the review also warned that the findings may face a backlash when it is published by March next year, reported the Leicester Mercury.

Leicester Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby commissioned the review which will be led by Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies at the University of Leicester.

Dr Chris Allen

As many as 61 arrests were made in the wake of the violence and disorder involving members of Hindu and Muslim communities in Leicester between August and September 2022. Tensions erupted after a cricket match between India and Pakistan played in Dubai on August 28.

Dr Allen predicted that some people may not agree with the findings of the inquiry.

“I know that this will probably put me in the line of fire, I know that it’s going to put Peter (Soulsby) in the line of fire and I know that it’s going to put the city in the line of fire,” Dr Allen is reported to have said.

“When you’re a university like the University of Leicester, we’re in the city but we need to be of the city as well. I think that we have a public responsibility and I think that we have a civic responsibility as well.”

Leicester Mayor said that people and communities in the city were perplexed after witnessing the unrest and violence in Leicester.

“Rather than having something that was formal, exhausting and take a long time, we needed something that was informal and useful and give us some answers to the questions being asked in a timely manner,” he said.

Reports said that a full review along with recommendations for action will be ready by March 2023.

The six key questions the investigation will try to address are:

  • What was it that actually caused the disturbance?
  • What happened before and during the disturbances and what has happened since?
  • Why did the disturbances happen when they did?
  • What were the drivers for that?
  • What were the warning signs?
  • What do you think the potential is for something similar happening in future?

Researchers will interview residents, local councillors, political figures, and representatives of public bodies such as schools, health services and the police to gather information for the report.

“This review is about understanding, it’s not about trying to apportion blame, this is not about trying to point the finger, this is about trying to understand. What we’re trying to do with this is trying to understand all the different perspectives that are there,” ,” Dr Allen was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

“When we were discussing this previously it was important that we spoke about the things that were actual, the things that were real, the things that were tangible that were involved in this, but also the things that were perceived as well.”

The cost of the inquiry has not been revealed. It is learnt that Dr Allen and other researchers will not be paid extra for their work on the review.

Police investigation into more than 150 incidents in connection with Leicester violence is still ongoing.

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