20 years after Stephen Lawrence's death there is a need for review of racism in the police service

Published at: April 22, 2013 4:22 PM

Yvette Cooper: 20 years after Stephen Lawrence's death and 14 years after the Macpherson report the Government should commit to publicly reviewing progress made in eliminating racism in the police service.

Yvette Cooper, Shadow Home Secretary, said:

“As we mark 20 years since the senseless and despicable murder of Stephen Lawrence, I pay tribute to Stephen’s family for their courageous campaigning to improve our society and confront the scourge of racism.

"I welcome the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police’s commitment that the police will continue to learn from Stephen’s murder and the subsequent inquiries that failed to deliver justice.

But 14 years after the Macpherson report, it is time for the Government to publicly review progress made in eliminating racism in the police service and look at what more should be done.

“There has been considerable progress over the last 20 years, but as the police themselves have made clear, tackling racism is immensely important, and that is why more still needs to be done. Police recruitment and retention from ethnic minority communities remains a significant problem, and more needs to be done on the police’s relationship with some communities, and on issues such as stop and search. We must not tolerate discrimination and racism in any aspect of society and that is particularly important in policing and the criminal justice system.

"It is time for a proper public review of progress in implementing Macpherson’s original recommendations, and wider issues for police forces and the criminal justice system across the country to ensure that racism is eliminated.

“In addition further questions raised around corruption at the time of the original Lawrence investigation must be investigated.

“I have already set out plans for a new Police Standards Authority to replace the IPCC, to strengthen independent checks and balances in policing, and ensure transparency and accountability when things go wrong."

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