Councils need more cash to prevent attacks on refugees

9 Aug 01
Refugee groups have called on the Home Office to give councils more cash towards the dispersal of asylum seekers following the murder of a Kurdish man in Glasgow this week.

10 August 2001

The Scottish Refugee Council said ministers needed to increase funding levels to prevent future attacks and also called on the government to stop treating asylum solely as a 'housing issue'.

Sophia Marriage, spokeswoman for the SRC, told Public Finance that the dispersal approach was one-dimensional, and refugees should be better integrated socially and economically.

'Scotland has a declining population and a skills shortage. This is a great opportunity to have a multi-cultural society. The alternative is too drastic,' she said.

Glasgow is the only Scottish authority to receive refugees under the dispersal system since it began in April 2000. Almost 4,000 asylum seekers have been located there in the past 16 months, according to the Home Office.

But up to 90 racist attacks are thought to have occurred in the city this year. This week's murder, in the Sighthill district of Glasgow, was followed by a stabbing of another man on August 7.

The poor quality of the housing stock is thought to be one reason why other councils have not been asked to accept asylum seekers. This week East Renfrewshire council said it was reviewing its position but had a limited amount of council housing. Aberdeen City Council said it had not been approached by the government.


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