Brother of Brentford stab victim criticises police community response

Images above: Ali Abucar Ali; Police spokesman at the meeting

The family of Ali Abucar Ali, the young man stabbed to death in Brentford on 12 November, have criticised Hounslow police’s community response.

The comments were made by Ali’s older brother at Brentford Free Church on Wednesday (24 November), during a community meeting set up in response to the stabbing. The meeting was called so residents who had concerns about the impact of the attack could attend and ask questions.

Ali Abucar Ali was attacked and fatally stabbed while trying to help an elderly woman, Betty Walsh, who was stabbed multiple times outside the Brentford kebab shop Best Kebab and Fish Bar on Albany Parade.

Ali’s brother went on to describe the event as “a box-ticking exercise” claiming the event was organised to make it look like police were doing something for the community when in fact they were not.

Cllr Steve Curran, who chaired the meeting along with West Area BCU Commander Sean Wilson and Superintendent James Pigg, defended the meeting as an important tool to address the fears members of the community have in relation to the attack.

But Ali’s brother said he had not been reassured after listening to what had been said during the meeting, saying things would likely just go back to how they were before.

West Area BCU Commander Sean Wilson and Cllr Curran responded by saying this was not the case and the council and Hounslow police were determined to learn lessons from this case to prevent similar incidents.

Images above: Brentford Free Church, Cllr Steve Curran chairing the meeting on 24 November

Somali community not informed

Another resident, Faiza, criticised the police’s decision to call a community meeting without properly promoting the evening and informing community organisations. She called on the police to make use of existing resources to advertise similar meetings.

“I learnt about this meeting from a screenshot my friend sent to me on WhatsApp. We know it’s possible to organise larger scale community events after [the funeral Janazah prayers last week].

“But tonight I can see councillors and an MP is present and it’s shocking to see and no disrespect [to Betty’s family], but Ali’s community is not here apart from a few rows of people and he is the one who’s dead.”

Superintendent James Pigg who organised the meeting, responded by saying: 

“I wanted to have this meeting as quickly as possible, we thought it was more respectful to have it after the funeral and after the ceremony. I do admit I thought to myself ‘Maybe I should delay this’ to give more of a chance for advertising for it’, but by then the ball was rolling.”

Cllr Katherine Dunne, Cabinet Member for Communities, told the police community organisations should be consulted prior to the next meeting.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: Huge crowds attend prayers for Ali Abucar Ali

See also: Brentford fatal stabbing – Tributes flow for ‘hero’; survivor now stable

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