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Racial Attacks

Volume 84: debated on Monday 21 October 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what representations were made to him on 26 September by the high commissioner of Bangladesh and the ambassador of Pakistan regarding racial attacks; what reply he gave; and if he will make a statement.

The ambassador and the high commissioner expressed concern at recent incidents which had raised questions about the safety in this country of people of Asian origin. The persistence of apparently racially motivated attacks on Asians, and the loss of Asian life and property during the disturbances of Handsworth, were issues of particular anxiety. The deputation handed to my right hon. Friend a dossier on 70 racial attacks which had occurred since the beginning of 1984 about which he has sought advice from the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and the chief constables in whose areas the attacks took place.My right hon. Friend made it clear that he shared their concern; he expressed his abhorrence at the injury and distress which these incidents cause; and he explained that the problem of racial attacks was high on the agenda of the Association of Chief Police Officers and that the issue would be discussed at the meeting of the Advisory Council on Race Relations on I October. My right hon. Friend also emphasised the Government's determination to ensure that everyone for whom the United Kingdom was now their home should have the fundamental right to live peacefully free from attack or harassment.