6 months after triple suicide, Strathclyde Police building better ties with immigrants

240 people from minority communities in Glasgow attend special event

23rd September 2010: Just more than months after three asylum seekers jumped to death, the police are establishing stronger links with asylum-seeking and immigrant communities in an apparent effort to prevent the repetition of the incident.

As a part of the initiative, Strathclyde Police organised an event at the city’s Science Centre. It was attended by more than 240 people from minority communities in Glasgow.

Chief Inspector Jim Igoe of Strathclyde Police said a major concern was that among these groups there was a fear of police, but also worries about antisocial behaviour, rape and hate crime.

Serguei Serykh, 43, his wife Tatiana and his stepson had plunged 15 stories from a block in a Scottish housing complex. The family was among thousands of asylum seekers living in public housing in Glasgow.

As of now, more than 5,000 asylum seekers live in Glasgow from countries like Eritrea, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Sudan.

After the family of Russian asylum seekers denied refugee status had ended their lives on 7 March, calls for a more compassionate immigration policy were heard loud and clear.

About 30 protesters gathered outside an immigration office in Glasgow following the deaths of the father, mother and son, had appealed to the authorities concerned for more compassion in Britain’s immigration policy.

Only recently, director of Glasgow-based charity Positive Action in Housing Robina Qureshi had called for a public inquiry, asserting that the UK’s asylum policy could have a part to play in the deaths.

She had expressed her belief that the UK asylum policy had a part to play in the deaths and a fatal accident inquiry could ascertain exactly what led to the deaths of a family of three.

The assertion had come after their funeral in Glasgow. Robina Qureshi is a Scottish human rights campaigner. She is a notable critic of the UK’s asylum policies and has campaigned to close detention centres for asylum seekers.

Qureshi’s parents came to Glasgow as immigrants in the 1960s, where they raised Robina and her six sisters. Her first job was as a trainee employment advice worker, soon after which she realised she wanted to work with minorities.

She had asserted there was a great deal of mental strain and it was normal currency for people to talk about ending their lives as a viable alternative to destitution or removal.

Qureshi had also asserted they needed to know more about the role of the UK Border Agency and Strathclyde Police.


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