The first part of the day was spent looking at equality, human rights and inclusion. After lunch we went on to look at hate crime as experienced by one individual – Mr Bijan Ebrahimi as a case study.

The session used PowerPoint presentation, video footage and interviews, and there were opportunities for the group to share their thoughts.

The session started with a short biography of Bijan, and then looked at Bijan’s experiences as a victim of hate crime over many years. Between 2005 and 2012 Bijan made at least 70 calls to the police. Of these 25 are recorded as a crime, but only one as a hate crime. Around 2010, Police and Bristol City Council start to see Bijan as a perpetrator of anti-social behaviour rather than a repeat victim of hate crime.

Over this period Bijan becomes increasingly isolated.

In his final days, following threats from a neighbour, Lee James, who mistakenly believes Bijan is a paedophile, Bijan made 20 calls to the Police, clearly stating he fears for his life. Police dismiss Bijan’s calls, he makes his last call at 12 minutes past midnight, one hour later Lee James murders Bijan outside his flat. He and another neighbour drag Bijan’s body away and set fire to it. Avon and Somerset Constabulary launch a murder investigation, and quickly call in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

The murderer and accomplice plead guilty, and receive custodial sentences. The IPCC investigate 18 police staff – officers and civilians. Three PC’s and a PCSO stand trial for misconduct in a public office. Two are found guilty, and receive custodial sentences. Two are acquitted. All four are dismissed from the police service. Other sanctions include verbal and written warnings, management advice, and four staff have no case to answer.

Safer Bristol Partnership in the report, find both police and Bristol City Council institutionally racist.

This case clearly highlights the importance of joined up working and the potential tragic outcomes of assumptions and stereotypes.

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