UK Home Secretary in Leicester to take stock of unrest


Leicester, Sep 23 (IANS) UK Home Secretary Suella Braverman met the police in Leicester to discuss and take stock of the recent communal unrest in the English city, the media reported.

In a statement on Thursday, a Leicestershire Police spokesperson said: “I can confirm the Home Secretary visited Leicester today and was briefed by Temporary Chief Constable Rob Nixon and other senior officers.

“We won’t be providing any further detail in relation to the meeting.”

According to the BBC, Braverman has been in regular contact with the chief constable, and that she visited to receive further updates on the disorder, and to thank police officers for their response.

Since the unrest first erupted on August 28 following an India-Pakistan cricket match, the police have arrested 47 peopleamid tensions involving mainly young men from sections of the Muslim and Hindu communities.

Major disorder broke out on the evening of September 17 following an earlier protest.

Meanwhile, a meeting of community leaders, councillors and local police on Wednesday evening decided upon a review to take place into recent unrest.

Speaking to the BBC, Leicester Mayor Peter Soulsby said on Thursday: “Last night’s meeting was very constructive and everyone there was determined to ensure that the recent disorder does not spoil relations in our city.

“My intention is to have a review of what led up to the events at the weekend, and also to seek some independent thoughts on how we all — council, police and communities — can learn from this, and what we can do at a local level to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

However, an independent body is yet to be appointed to oversee the review.

Three people have been charged so far in relation to the disorder.

Amos Noronha, 20, of Illingworth Road in Leicester, appeared in court on Monday, where he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and was jailed for 10 months, the BBC reported.

Adam Yusuf, 21, of Bruin Street in Leicester, appeared in court on Tuesday, where he pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article and was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work.

Lukman Patel, 31, of Homeway Road in Leicester, also appeared in court on Tuesday, where he pleaded not guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and racially aggravated harassment/alarm/distress.

He is expected to stand trial on November 11.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has described the events in Leicester and Smethwick as “ugly” and called for solidarity.

“British Hindus and British Muslims have far more in common than that which divides us, and we should be eternally on our guard against extremist forces who seek to stoke up tensions between our communities for their own selfish ends,” he said.

Police have encouraged people to prepare for Navratri and Diwali as normal, and said a “visible and strengthened police presence will be there for all communities”.



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