Glasgow man slams police over race attack response

The teen has complained over the police's handling of the attack. Picture: TSPL
The teen has complained over the police's handling of the attack. Picture: TSPL
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A TEENAGER who was beaten and stabbed in a racist attack has complained to police about their handling of the investigation.

Student Sonoo Yaqoob, 19, was attacked as he walked through Queen’s Park in Glasgow on June 24 last year with two friends.

His friends escaped but Mr Yaqoob said he was surrounded by 15 people who punched and kicked him to the ground before he was stabbed.

Due to the verbal abuse he received from the attackers he believes he was targeted after the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in London the previous month.

He was taken to hospital in the city where he said a police officer took a statement from him and removed his clothes for forensic testing.

He claims that the only contact he has had with police in the seven months since is a letter sent a week after the attack with the details of the officer in charge of the case.

Police Scotland said “several” attempts have been made to contact Mr Yaqoob and they were “unaware of his concerns”.

Mr Yaqoob said no messages have been left on his phone and no letters or calling cards left at his address.

He said: “To date the police have not been in touch with me regarding this violent racial attack on me. I am angry and upset that these people have ruined my life, leaving me scared and fearing for my life each time I step out in the community.

“But even worse is that the police have done nothing to help me, their claims to help victims of race crime as far as I am concerned are just sound bites, they let me and my family down.”

Mr Yaqoob is being represented by lawyer Aamer Anwar who has written to Chief Constable Sir Stephen House and three assistant chief constables to complain formally about the case.

In the complaint Mr Anwar alleges that there was a “failure to recognise the distress” caused to Mr Yaqoob, the police response was “disproportionate to the circumstances” and that officers have not kept Mr Yaqoob “sufficiently updated”.

Mr Anwar said: “I find it difficult to understand why such a horrific attack has not been taken seriously. A ‘zero-tolerance’ approach was replaced with a ‘zero response’ which compounded the trauma felt by my client allowing his racist attackers to escape arrest.

“Police Scotland have at best failed in their duty of care to the victim, who has been left seriously traumatised.”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed the complaint had been received from Mr Anwar.

She said: “Several attempts have been made to contact Mr Yaqoob since the incident and we were unaware of his concerns regarding this investigation until the complaint was received this afternoon.

“The complaint will of course be investigated thoroughly, however, should Mr Yaqoob or Mr Anwar wish to make contact with us we would be happy to discuss their concerns independent of the complaints procedure.

“Hate crime is a force priority and we do not accept the inference that it is not taken seriously.”