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An independent review into the cause of recent violent disorder in East Leicester has been commissioned by Leicester’s City Mayor, with findings expected to be published early next year.

Sir Peter Soulsby has commissioned the review, which will be led by Dr Chris Allen, Associate Professor in Hate Studies at the University of Leicester.

Picture: Leicester Times

Dr Allen will be supported by experts in social research from the University of Leicester and De Montfort University, it has been revealed.

“Dr Allen and his colleagues have a wealth of experience in conducting research into hate crime, and also have a thorough knowledge of our city and the community cohesion we have enjoyed here for many decades,” said Sir Peter.

“There are many theories circulating as to what led to the recent disorder – the like of which has never been seen here before. It’s important that we get to the facts as quickly and efficiently as possible so that we can all take whatever action is necessary to ensure we never see it again.” 

Dr Allen said: “In leading the review, I will draw on more than two decades of research expertise to try and better understand what caused the disturbances and why they happened when they did. Far from trying to apportion blame, the learning gathered will instead provide a meaningful starting point, from which we can all work towards rebuilding the good relations that have been a defining feature of Leicester for the past few decades.”

Dr Allen and his team have been asked to produce an informed summary of what happened leading up to, and during the period of the disorder, and to establish any real or perceived contributory factors that lay behind it.

They’ve also been asked to provide an assessment of ongoing and future risks around community tensions and mitigations that could be put in place; and recommendations for actions that could be taken by the council, other public bodies and the community. 

The review aims to support the development of a national blueprint for other cities to help with community cohesion in the face of rapidly moving national and international social and political influence.

It’s expected that the review team will talk to a wide range of people as part of their evidence gathering. This will include local residents and business owners; elected councillors; and representatives of public bodies such as schools, colleges, health services and the police. 

Areas of interest likely to be examined are the role different agencies play in promoting community relations; and how local communities and wider society can come together to promote community cohesion in Leicester.

It is expected that the findings of the review will be published early in 2023.