Audit, Inspection and Safety


Bristol council apologises after ‘institutional racism’ unearthed in murder report

Bristol City Council mayor Marvin Rees has apologised after a report found evidence of “institutional racism” in an investigation into the death of Bijan Ebrahimi.

The disabled Iranian refugee was beaten to death and set on fire by neighbour Lee James in July 2013.

James has since been jailed for life, but an independent review commissioned by the Safer Bristol Partnership found that both Avon & Somerset Police and the council had shown evidence of “discriminatory behaviour.”

In a statement, Rees said: “On behalf of Bristol City Council we sincerely and wholeheartedly apologise for the failings in the council’s treatment of Bijan leading up to his tragic death in July 2013.

“We appreciate that no amount of lessons learned or changes in practice can possibly mitigate the impact this had on Bijan and his family.

“However, we assure the family and the public that every effort will continue to be made, building on the considerable work that has already been completed by the council as part of the Safer Bristol Partnership, to further identify how we need to change and improve.

“We are committed to working with the family and other partners to achieve this objective in memory of Bijan.”

The mayor said the authority accepted all the findings of the review including “evidence of both discriminatory behaviour and institutional racism on the part of Bristol City Council.”

Included in the report are a range of recommendations made to the council to ensure an incident such as this is unlikely to happen again.

These involve making sure steps which are likely to have a punitive effect, such as anti-social behavioural injunctions, are only taken after a comprehensive investigation has taken place along with considerations on the stigmatising effect such proceedings could have on a defendant.

The Safer Bristol Partnership also suggested Bristol council undertake an immediate review of its existing caseload of tenants with multiple, complex needs in order to inform future practices.

Furthermore, the review recommends the council’s criteria for a vulnerable tenant does not exclude those who are able to “live independently”, as this could omit residents who need help.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become a PSE columnist? If so, click here


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


public sector executive tv

more videos >

latest public sector news

‘More to be done’ to build public confidence in reporting suspected child abuse

16/03/2018‘More to be done’ to build public confidence in reporting suspected child abuse

More than two in five adults who have worried about the welfare of a child have not reported their concerns, new research has revealed. In a rec... more >
Over a quarter of secondary schools in deficit

16/03/2018Over a quarter of secondary schools in deficit

The proportion of local authority maintained secondary schools in deficit has nearly trebled in four years, a new report has revealed. ‘Sc... more >
‘Wholly unacceptable’ that central gov does not have clear answer to benefits of LEPs

16/03/2018‘Wholly unacceptable’ that central gov does not have clear answer to benefits of LEPs

The Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough Local Enterprise Partnership (GCGP LEP) is the latest example of the Ministry of Housing, Communities an... more >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this... read more >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the o... more > more last word articles >
Leader resigns after Whitehall report calls for failing council to be split up

16/03/2018Leader resigns after Whitehall report calls for failing council to be split up

The leader of Northamptonshire County Council has announced her resignation after a government report recommended the impoverished authority should be split into two smaller unitary councils. ... more >
Javid ‘minded to’ approve unitary plans for Buckinghamshire

12/03/2018Javid ‘minded to’ approve unitary plans for Buckinghamshire

Sajid Javid has today announced that he is minded to approve plans which would see a large unitary authority created from the six existing authorities in Buckinghamshire. Under the current p... more >

the raven's daily blog

Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

05/03/2018Apprenticeship levy – five myths busted

On the first day of National Apprenticeship Week 2018 (NAW 2018), the director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Sue Husband, challenges some of the key myths around the apprenticeship levy. NAW 2018 takes place from 5 to 9 March. It will be a week-long celebration of apprenticeships in England designed to showcase how apprenti... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >


Building a more diverse society

05/03/2018Building a more diverse society

Karl Wilding, policy director at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO), argues that diverse membership in charities and local g... more >
Developing our future leaders

05/03/2018Developing our future leaders

Kerry Bishop, apprenticeship and qualification development manager at the LGSS (pictured), provides an insight into how the organisation is suppo... more >
What's next for BIM?

05/03/2018What's next for BIM?

After some mostly positive findings in last year’s National Building Information Modelling (BIM) Report, PSE’s Luana Salles considers... more >
BIM: Reaping the rewards

26/02/2018BIM: Reaping the rewards

Although austerity has been a barrier to adopting Building Information Modelling (BIM), continued investment in these tools can greatly benefit t... more >


Keeping London safe

05/03/2018Keeping London safe

Theo Blackwell, London’s first-ever chief digital officer (CDO), speaks to PSE’s Luana Salles about the role he plays in ensuring the... more >
BIM: Digitising the public sector

19/02/2018BIM: Digitising the public sector

PSE’s Josh Mines talks to Stephen Crompton, CTO at GroupBC, and Stuart Bell, the company’s sales and marketing director, about how Bu... more >
Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

19/02/2018Duncan Selbie: The energy of devolution

The NHS plays a part in keeping the country well – but when it comes to places and their people, local government has a major role to fulfi... more >
Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the National Education Union (NEU), questions the stark lack of announcements a... more >

public sector focus

View all News