A knife attack at a Glasgow hotel housing asylum seekers during the Covid-19 pandemic in which six people were stabbed could have been avoided, a report has concluded.
Badreddin Abadlla Adam was shot dead by police after carrying out the attack at the Park Inn, on West George Street, in June 2020.
In the early part of the pandemic, the Home Office temporarily halted bringing asylum support to an end for those whose claims had been either granted or refused.
It led to a rise in the number of people within the UK’s asylum system.
The decision was taken in order to ensure that people were not made homeless during lockdown and able to follow social distancing.
In order to avoid placing pressure on local authorities, the Home Office opted to temporarily house a number of people in hotels.
However, campaigners raised concerns over the decision at the time and warned about the conditions in the hotels.
The Home Office states that it has since made “significant changes” to keep asylum seekers safe.
Abadlla Adam was one of hundreds of asylum seekers who moved into the hotel at the start of lockdown in 2020.
According to a leaked Home Office internal review in April this year, he contacted the Home Office, social care provider Mears and the charity Migrant Help 72 times about his health and accommodation in the period leading up to the attack.
It also found that he had complained to staff at the Park Inn and was in touch with the Home Office about an assisted return to his home country.
An independent inquiry into the events at the hotel was launched in June this year.
The review, led by Baroness Helena Kennedy, has now concluded that the incident could have been avoided, in part, if people had been allowed to stay in their flats and apartments during lockdown.
It also suggested the incident may not have occurred had routine cash payments received by asylum seekers prior to the move been continued, as well as allowing those in the accommodation to continue living their lives with the same restrictions as the rest of the population during that time.
The panel concluded that there has been a “deterioration” in asylum support and accommodation since the events of June 2020.
They also stated that there is “no evidence” to suggest that lessons had been learned from the experiences of the first months of the pandemic.
It added that the asylum system must be one that is “resilient” and designed to be capable of dealing with emergencies and crises.
As part of its recommendations, the panel called for an overhaul of the asylum determination, support and accommodation systems, as well as an immediate halt to further use of institutional accommodation for people seeking asylum.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “This incident in Glasgow was truly horrific and our thoughts are with those affected.
“We have since made significant changes to keep asylum seekers safe including how we, our contractors and charities identify vulnerable individuals and ensure they are fully supported.
“We are dealing with an unprecedented increase in asylum cases but despite this we continue to ensure that the accommodation provided is safe, secure and leaves no one destitute.”