Glasgow hotel staff “heard of concerns about attacker’s mental health” | News from the United Kingdom


Staff at a hotel in Glasgow, where six people were stabbed, were informed of concerns about the suspect’s mental health the day before the incident, the Guardian learned.The victims, including a police officer and two teenagers, were seriously injured on Friday in the attack on the Park Inn. The alleged perpetrator, who was allegedly a Sudanese asylum seeker, was shot dead by the police.

The other hotel guests said they had raised concerns about the suspect, whose request for voluntary return had been blocked by the coronavirus pandemic after he started to behave improperly.

At the start of isolation, around 380 refugees and asylum-seekers were transferred by private accommodation provider Mears from their individual accommodation to six hotels in Glasgow city center.

A man, who named Siraj, said the alleged assailant told him Thursday evening that he was planning to attack his fellow citizens. “He said,” Everyone here at the hotel is against me. ” Siraj alerted hotel reception staff to the conversation on Thursday evening. He said it was followed up with him by a Mears representative Friday morning.

The Guardian understands that hotel staff communicated these concerns to Mears on Thursday evening and that a social worker from the housing provider spent time talking to the man.

It is also understood that the alleged attacker complained to his fellow citizens and hotel staff about noise from other rooms and disturbing his sleep during the night.

Chris Stephens, SNP MP for Glasgow South West, said that although he was not speculating on the ongoing investigation, the Home Office had important questions to ask about how it assessed the vulnerabilities of those placed in hotels.

“It should be immediately clear who was placed in the hotels and what assessment, if any, was carried out,” he said.

Mears chief executive John Taylor said on Thursday that the asylum seekers had been transferred to hotels without formally assessing individual vulnerabilities. However, he stressed that pregnant women, children and those with significant mental health problems were quickly resettled.

Stephens, who last week held an adjournment debate on asylum seeker services during the pandemic, said he would urgently request a meeting with Interior Minister Chris Philp.

He said: “Although we cannot speculate on yesterday’s events, it is imperative that the Interior Ministry respond to the many outstanding questions regarding the treatment of asylum seekers in these hotels, including the support that was provided and the fact that charities had to step in to provide food. for residents. ”

Glasgow Central SNP MP Alison Thewliss called on Mears and the Home Office to present an immediate plan to support residents of Park Inn, many of whom were traumatized by the incident and who were transferred to another night ‘hotel.

“People should never have been in hotels in the first place. I see people all the time in surgeries who are really vulnerable and naturally struggling, and the Home Office is getting worse all the time.

“Being moved by their hosting provider during a pandemic has left people isolated and unable to access their support networks. The stress of this cumulative to what they had experienced made things very difficult. ”

Thewlis said she wanted people to move into their own apartments urgently.

Mears has announced that it plans to gradually return to individual accommodation on Thursday before the attack.

“People should be in their own accommodation rather than in hotels and they should reinstate child support, as this has clearly contributed to the stress they have suffered,” said Thewlis.

All financial support was withdrawn when asylum seekers entered hotels, apparently because the hotels provide three meals a day, basic toiletries and a laundry service.

Robina Qureshi, director of the Glasgow-based homeless charity Positive Action in Housing, described the “desperation” of asylum seekers displaced to hotels during isolation.

“Yesterday’s tragic incident in Glasgow underscores our concerns about the conditions in which vulnerable asylum seekers are forced to live. They have been living like this for more than three months now, unable to distance themselves socially, buy crucial cell phone recharges, stay in touch with lawyers and family at home. ”

Qureshi said concerns have been constantly raised about the increase in the level of poor mental health, particularly after a Syrian refugee who previously expressed suicidal thoughts was found dead in one of the hotels in May.

In a statement released on Saturday afternoon, Sabir Zazai, executive director of the Scottish Refugee Council, expressed “devastation” and called for “a united and dignified response to grief.”

“We have repeatedly expressed concern over the past three months about the use of hotel accommodation for people in the asylum system. These are people who have lost their homes and livelihoods and are desperately looking for a new start, but who are no different from the rest of us in Glasgow.

“We have always believed that people in Scotland seeking refugee status need and deserve safe and secure accommodation – a home – to rebuild their lives. Temporary accommodation can never meet this condition.

“Until the facts are confirmed about what happened yesterday, we cannot comment further on the issue of hotel accommodation. But we are ready, as always, to work in partnership with all parties concerned to support people and seek to quickly end the use of temporary accommodation in Glasgow. “

Ex-servicemen stand outside the cenotaph in George Square, Glasgow on Saturday. Photography: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images

On Saturday, as a sign of rising tensions in Glasgow in recent weeks, Scottish police have imposed an order authorizing their agents to arrest and search any person or vehicle in the city until Sunday morning.

Members of the far-right National Defense League have been confronted on several occasions with refugee and anti-racism activists. Last week they disrupted a protest by the campaign group No Evictions Glasgow regarding the living conditions of asylum seekers in hotels. NDL members have said they want to “take a stand” and protect the cenotaph in George Square in Glasgow, but have been described by Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon as “racist thugs”.

The Home Office was contacted for comments.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here