William Eichler 16 January 2018

Bristol council to investigate failures after racist murder

Councillors in Bristol have agreed to launch an investigation into how the council failed to support Bijan Ebrahimi who was murdered in a racist attack.

Mr Ebrahimi was beaten to death and set on fire by neighbour Lee James in July 2013 who wrongly believed he was a paedophile who was filming his children. Mr James has been jailed for life.

A Safer Bristol Partnership (SBP) report published last month found ‘evidence of both discriminatory behaviour and institutional racism’ in the council’s handling of the case.

Mr Ebrahimi repeatedly reported Mr James for racist abuse but, according to the SBP report, the council and the police sided with the latter each time.

Bristol mayor Marvin Rees apologised for the council’s failure to ‘adequately support Bijan as a victim’. However, Mr Ebrahimi’s family pointed out it took the council nearly five years to accept they had failed him.

The city council has now agreed to undertake a full investigation into the events around Mr Ebrahimi’s murder.

A Bristol City Council spokesperson said: ‘A motion calling for an investigation into how council officers supported Mr Bijan Ebrahimi was agreed at a Full Council meeting yesterday.

‘This will now be considered by the Mayor and appropriate senior officers in determining the next steps.

‘The motion also called for more training and whilst some has already been provided to relevant colleagues, more is already planned for coming months.’

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