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Saturday, 14 July, 2001, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Bradford: A police officer's view
Bradford police
Many young Asians in Bradford distrust the police
In the wake of racial violence in Bradford, relations between the Asian community and police have suffered. BBC News Online's community affairs reporter, Cindi John, spoke to one police officer about his work with young Asians in the city

"A lot of the good work that we've been doing has just been undone in one weekend of mindless acts," said PC Lee Holmes referring to the recent rioting in Bradford.

He has spent the past two years seconded from West Yorkshire police to a regeneration project operating in two predominantly Asian areas of Bradford, Manningham and Girlington.

PC Holmes said he believed the trouble had involved only a small number of local Asian youths.

PC Lee Holmes
Lee Holmes: "Good community work goes unreported"
"That was probably one percent of the population that spoilt it for the majority of young people," he said.

After the violence some young Asians said part of the blame lay with the police tactics.

But PC Holmes said he did not think such criticism was justified.

"No matter what the police do there's always going to be somebody who disagrees with the way that we do it," he said.

"I think the majority do appreciate the work that's going on and we've got to get rid of the rumours," he said.

Optimism

PC Holmes believes police efforts to reach out to the Asian community in Manningham and Girlington were having a positve impact on many young people.

One example is Tayyab Rafiq.

Tayyab Rafiq
Tayyab Rafiq said community projects had turned his life around

Mr Rafiq, who was referred to PC Holmes by his probation officer, recently returned from a weekend in the Lake District organised by the officer for 10 young people from the Manningham area.

"We learnt about team building activities, how to trust each other and all sorts of stuff like that," he said.

He added that getting involved with such projects had "turned his life around".

PC Holmes said cases such as Tayyab's and other on-going work led him to be optimistic about the future in spite of the recent problems.

He said: "There's some great community work going on that doesn't necessarily get reported.

"It's the bad news that makes the press and the media and that's not a true representation of what goes on."

Find out more about the violence in northern England during the summer of 2001


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09 Jul 01 | UK Politics
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