Man disfigured in alleged racist assault



by Trystan Davies

An attack in Leith Walk resulted in a man being scarred for life.   The assault took place this week at the City Limits bar in the city centre. 

The 37-year-old  man was drinking in the pub with friends  when they were confronted by a group of  men who started to racially abuse them.  One of the gang grabbed a pint glass and smashed it on the head of the victim.  Badly cut, the victim was taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary before going to St Johns Hospital for plastic surgery. 

The alleged racist assault is one of a number of such attacks that have happened in the capital over the last few months.  In October a young man had his jaw broken on Waverley Bridge, the car of an Asian family was vandalised and a mother of four has been the target of a hate mail campaign. 

The Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) new procedures have been put in place in 2010 after the McPherson report into the death of Stephen Lawrence in London.  Chief Constable Ian Latimer, Chair of the ACPOS Equality and Diversity Business Area said:

 “Hate crime divides our communities and has a devastating effect on victims, their family members and the wider community. The Scottish Police Service recognises the impact this type of crime has on our communities and is committed to tackling it and supporting those who have been a victim”

According to the Scottish Government Racist Incidents Recorded by the Police in Scotland, 2004-05 to 2008-09, the number of crimes in the capital  increased from 599 in 2004-05 to 1,179 in 2006-07 although the number did drop last year.  In 2008 the then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith predicted that violent crime and far-right extremism would increase in the UK, based on the 1991-1992 recession. Current statistics do not reflect any significant change due to the credit crunch