Police launch hate crime investigation at Bristol University
search

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Police launch hate crime investigation at Bristol University

Officers said they were looking to establish if an offence had taken place after furore over Professor David Miller

Prof David Miller
Prof David Miller

Police are probing whether hate crimes have been committed in connection with lectures from a Bristol academic who called for an end to Zionism.

Professor David Miller, a sociology lecturer at the top university, sparked condemnation across the Jewish community when he accused Jewish students at the university of being “pawns” of Israel.

The matter has been raised in Parliament, while hundreds of MPs have signed a letter to the university urging them to take action over the academic. 

Bristol said earlier this month it had launched an internal confidential investigation into Miller.

Now officers at Avon and Somerset Police say they are urging students to speak to them to determine whether any hate crimes have taken place.

“We have recently been made aware of a number of incidents that may constitute a hate crime or hate incident taking place during lectures at the University of Bristol,” said a spokesman.

“We take issues such as these very seriously. An email was circulated to student groups last week asking people to speak to the police regarding their experiences.

“Our investigation is at an early stage and enquiries are ongoing to establish if any offences have been committed.

“Our aim is to help everyone to feel safe and supported while studying in Bristol and we are working closely with the university at this time.”

Separately, a government whip today told the House of Lords that he believed Miller had expressed some “ill-founded and reprehensible views.”

Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay said the government “wholeheartedly rejects” them, and urged students to contact police if they believed any laws had been broken.

Anyone with information is being asked to contact 101 and quoting the reference 5221036233.

A Bristol University spokeswoman said: “The University is seeking clarification from Avon and Somerset Police. If notified of a formal investigation, we will of course cooperate.

“Our freedom of speech policy underlines the vital importance of the right of staff and students, as members of a free and democratic society, to speak openly without fear of censorship or limitation, provided that this right is exercised responsibly, within the law, and with respect for others who may have differing views.”

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...

Engaging

Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.

Celebrating

There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.

Pioneering

In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.

Campaigning

Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish News also produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more:
comments