We are deeply saddened by events on the night of Friday 10 February 2023 in Kirkby, Knowsley. Those who come to the UK seeking asylum should be treated with dignity and respect. It is inexcusable that persons fleeing persecution, some of whom may be victims of trauma or torture, are confronted with scenes of hostility, aggression and violence when they should receive safety and refuge.
The setting of these events highlights the inadequacy of the use of hotels as contingency accommodation for people seeking asylum. It also shines a light on the dangers posed by other forms of accommodation sites and reception centres. Institutional forms of accommodation are susceptible to becoming a target for violence and exploitation. Individuals seeking asylum in the UK should be accommodated and welcomed in communities.
We urge the government to place the safety of individuals seeking asylum at the heart of its approach. Doing so would necessitate the abandonment of both institutional accommodation and the use of inflammatory rhetoric to describe migrants, including persons seeking asylum.