WE never have the whole story. It’s easy to think we do. And to make mistakes. It’s why, in an unfolding situation, cool heads and a steady, accurate response is vital. Why we often say “fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. A full picture comes over time, and by listening to many different people.

We know two things:

1) There was a knife attack at the Park Inn, the Radisson-owned hotel in Glasgow. The attacker, a Sudanese national, was shot dead on the scene by police. He was the first person to be shot dead by police in Scotland since the service was devolved. Six people were seriously wounded during the attack.

2) We know the Park Inn was being used by Mears on the Home Office contract to house asylum seekers and that, across the sector, we have been protesting against the use of hotels as wholly inappropriate for housing new arrivals in the asylum system in our city.

We do not know why the attack happened and we cannot make connections between the two events without a full inquiry to enable the public to understand all the circumstances. This is why we have inquiry mechanisms.

We do not know exactly how the injuries happened, who was trying to do what, or how it was that the attacker was shot dead. The usual process of criminal justice is trial by jury in this country. It cannot happen in this case. There will be a police inquiry and investigations are ongoing at what is a crime scene. It will be, and should be, some time before we have full clarity. These are painstaking processes and need to be undertaken with diligence.

READ MORE: Independent inquiry push to be launched into Park Inn attack

As a result of the attacks, the second story, reported on solidly by National reporters and in my own column over several years, has come into focus. This is the story of the asylum accommodation crisis which has been exacerbated to breaking point during the pandemic and lockdown, but which is also the longer story of dispersal to the city of Glasgow and of an increasingly fractious relationship with the UK Home Office procurement process.

From the Red Road flats, to contracting agreements over asylum support to Serco and now Mears, this city has gone through it all and seen it all. No-one who has worked with or experienced the asylum system in Glasgow comes away without terrible stories. Homelessness, destitution, dawn raids, deportation, detention.

Alongside these are the most heart-warming stories of welcome and hospitality. For years now, it has been the best of times and worst of times.

“Hotel detention” as the advocacy sector now terms it is a form of “direct provision”. Direct provision is what has just been abolished in the Republic of Ireland: no support money (not even the £37 per week); no dignity or agency; meals and canteen systems. The things that let us make ourselves human – cooking, hygiene, speaking to friends and family afar – taken away.

The staff who signed up to work in the hospitality industry, an industry predicated on giving comfort and pleasure, were utterly unprepared for the work of holding people with unknown and often horrific pasts, in a lockdown situation, en masse.

READ MORE: Glasgow attack: Home Office to move asylum seekers from hotels

Attack or no attack, the decision to house people in these ways was an attack in and of itself. Any professional would tell you that this is wholly inappropriate and potentially dangerous, not just for the individuals, but for those tasked with ensuring their safety. Refugees, advocates, lawyers, NGOs, housing providers, activists, politicians in the city and academics are united and have been for years on the root cause of the suffering and the burnout and the acres of entirely unnecessary but now vital – as in lifesaving and life-giving – work in the city under these conditions.

The Home Office and its procurement processes. The award of contracts to the private sector for shareholder profit. There is an endless list of what colleagues, friends and so many others have had to carry, and then to carry under lockdown conditions.

We have discussed this in committees, raised it with politicians, councillors, on the streets, in the press, in meetings, through protests, through academic research and reports.

Our elected representatives in this city have raised their concerns in our parliaments and joined the protests, united, even across parties. Every possible peaceful means has been used to try to get humane treatment, in line with New Scots Refugee Integration strategy, to be implemented.

For, make no mistake, the principles of New Scots are breached by the way in which this accommodation is provided. The principles which say the policy is based on the Human Rights Convention. It requires integration and care for those seeking asylum on day one under Article 14 (1) of the Convention.

The principles which underpin four overarching outcomes:

1. Refugees and asylum seekers live in safe, welcoming and cohesive communities and are able to build diverse relationships and connections.

2. Refugees and asylum seekers understand their rights, responsibilities and entitlements and are able to exercise them to pursue full and independent lives.

3. Refugees and asylum seekers are able to access well-co-ordinated services, which recognise and meet their rights and needs.

4. Policy, strategic planning and legislation, which have an impact on refugees and asylum seekers, are informed by their rights, needs and aspirations.

All across the city and civil society there are calls for an inquiry into the accommodation decisions by Mears and the Home Office at the start of the pandemic. This must now happen for the sake of us all.

Alison Phipps is Unesco chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts at Glasgow University and an ambassador for the Scottish Refugee Council