Glasgow reports increase in racist attacks

NEW FIGURES FROM Strathclyde Police Show a dramatic increase in racist crime, but they claim it shows victims are more Willing to come forward.

There were 332 racial incidents between April and December last year, a 61% rise on the whole of the prevrous year. But Chief Constable John Orr argued this was largely because more cases are being reported.

He said: ’I am somewhat concerned at the increase in reported and confirmed incidents. It is extremely significant that more people are bringing such cases to light.

'The fact remains that daily racist taunts, unpleasant graffiti and acts of

intimidation make life a misery for people who wish only to be left in peace!

Moharnmed Bashir is married With four children in a predominantly white area of the city.

He says he and his family have suffered harrassmerit ~ his Wife is Scottish but he says his children are targeted because he is Pakistani

’My children are whiter than my Wife is, but they get called “black bastard” and "half darkies",’ he claimed. 'It is only one or two families who are a problem, but they infect others With their racism.’

A group of boys regularly bully his eleven-year-old son, he said. 'They

invited themselves round one day and ripped his room apart and peed on his carpet,’ Bashir explained. 'It sickens me.’

He said his son had been punched and kicked and was once hospitalised after a neighbour threw a brick at his head, ’He is pr‘iy a wee boy ncw he has nigl‘.tmares every night '

Bashir has been threatened With a knife by a local man but inSists he would always report inCidents to the police 'You have to confront these people or it Will get worse,’ he said. ’But the police don’t seem to be able to do anything about it.'

The family's experiences are typical according to Maggie Chetty of the

West of Scotland Community Relations CounCII, which runs the Candle Project for victims of racial abuse.

’Sometimes people put up with really bad Situations for a long time,’ she said. ’Many end up suffering insomnia or serious depression.’

However, she welcomed the Strathclyde Police figures: ’They are encouraging because we believe it reflects better reporting levels

Chetty believes victims of such attacks are more Willing to trust the authorities to act to tackle the situation. ’We then need to take effective legal steps,’ she explained.

Chief Constable Orr said charges had resulted in 60% of cases where racism was shown to be a factor. ’Strathclyde Police is totally opposed to racism,’ he said. (Stephen Naysmith)

Glasgow big on world music

Kidjo: world class

GLASGOW IS TO host a ten day world music festival in the autumn produced by the company behind the three-year- old Big Big Country concert series.

Funding from Glasgow City C0uncil has been earmarked for Big Big World, which will run from 21-31 October. Billy Kelly, the managing director of Soundsfine Ltd, is sure there is a need for a festival of world music in the city.

He explained: 'We are very well served for rock, opera, Jazz and big orchestras while Celtic Connections caters for people who want traditional roots. Big Big Country is expanding to be a festival of Americana taking in zydeco, blues and caiun as well as country roots. The only area not covered is world mu5ic.’

Last year, Kelly put on Scotland Africa, a four day celebration of traditional Scottish and African music in October. It was a great success, he said: ’Cver 8000 pe0p|e attended the Scotland Africa concerts,’ he said.

As Mayfest's music programmer Kelly attracted some of world music’s biggest names to Glasgow during his ten-year reign. ‘I would hope that Big Big World will be at the level of Mayfest in the early 90$, attracting the likes of Youssou N’Dour and Angelique Kidjo,’ he said. (Jonathan Trew)

34 Ill! um 23 Jan—S Feb i998 l

Ultimate hit for ‘Trainspotting’ club

A PIECE OF Scotland’s cinematic and club heritage has been reduced to rubble after ten years of uncertainty.

Jet nightclub, formerly The Volcano, at Partick Cross in the West End of Glasgow, closed on 4 January and was demolished as dawn was rising two weeks later to make way for a new roundabout.

The club is perhaps best known for its starring role in the film Trainspotting which used both the interior and exterior for the scenes in which Ewan McGregor, as central character Mark Renton, unWittingly picks up a schoolgirl.

The club was re-opened in 1991 as the Volcano by a team including Colin Barr, who was ultimately the leaseholder when the burlding perished below the bulldozers.

Barr said: ’l’ve got fond memories of the Volcano. My daughter was even christened there.’

In addition, the club was the birthplace of Glasgow’s finest world music night Viruriga and home to Nick Peacock's legendary Horizontal night

More recently, it was the venue for singer-turned-DJ Bobby Bluebell’s

career change, givmg him his first night on the decks

The Site has been destined for the bulldozers for ten years, to help pave the way for a long—planned link road, but in June of last year the Volcano closed when the demolition seemed


Volcano: ‘pulling' joint pulled down

When the work did not take place, it ; reopened as Jet on a week-to-week i


Roger Sanchez, one of the world’s most highly respected DJs, claimed his August Klub Club gig there was one of the best nights he'd ever had. (Rory Weller)

Expert warns of drug bust aftermath

GLASGOW COULD FACE a new drug crisis after police in London smashed a key link in the illegal chain bringing her0in into Britain.

The Metropolitan Police claims the gang were the source of all the heroin coming into the UK but ironically, experts warn the success could spell trouble in Scotland.

Ken Blair, practise manager at the

_ Glasgow Drug Crisis Centre, run by the

charity Turning Point, says the bust will increase pressure on health and detox services, leading to users taking risks with other drugs

‘lf there is a supply problem we

usually pick up a lot more referrals,’ he said. ’We will see a dramatic increase in clients referring to the proiect looking for Methadone prescriptions'

Other addicts may start USIng pharmaceutical alternatives, Blair added. ’With the controls that eXist now it is less easy to get your hands on them, so there are likely to be more break-ins at chemists’

Although serVices are stretched due to counCil cut-backs, Blair believes Turning Pomt can cope With the added pressure ’We are seeing 100 people a day Just now, but we've coped With diy-ups before,’ he says.

And he added that the Police Victory would be short-lived. ’Supplies tend to come on-stream again fairly quickly. There are huge profits to be made and

peOple are always Willing to take the


Chief Inspector John Shatford of the it was

Metropolitan Police said

difficult to imagine a more significant

seizure 'We are all very pleased,’ he said.

However David Macauley, campaign director of Scotland Against Drugs warned of a ’drug war‘ with groups

fighting to fill the gap in the market.

(Stephen Naysmith)

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