Father of Stephen Lawrence fears street violence 'worse now' than when his son died

Father of Stephen Lawrence fears street violence 'worse now' than when his son died

Stephen Lawrence was murdered after being stabbed in an unprovoked attack in 1993. Image: Metropolitan Police/Getty Images

Saturday, February 23, 2019

The father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence fears that violence on Britain's streets is even worse than when his son was stabbed to death more than a quarter of a century ago.

Stephen was murdered in an unprovoked, racist attack while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.

It took nearly 20 years for two of his five or six killers to finally be brought to justice, after the initial investigation was hampered by claims of racism, corruption and incompetence. 

Speaking on the 20th anniversary of the Macpherson report, which branded the Metropolitan Police "institutionally racist", Neville Lawrence called for a new body to be brought in to ensure the report's findings are implemented. 

 

 

Mr Lawrence said: "When my son was murdered I felt it was really important to help stop the mayhem by getting the recommendations in the Macpherson Report implemented. But while it was mayhem then, it is actually worse now. 

"The report was Stephen's legacy and crucial reform was brought in as a result. But that legacy is at risk as there is no steering group ensuring the report's findings are carried out.

"Nobody is holding police forces to account and I think it is really important that a group is formed again to carry out this work. The police could be paying lip service to the recommendations and we would never know.”

 

'Stop and search'

Mr Lawrence added that black people remained “disproportionately the victims of violent crime”. 

"While a lot of things have improved, the disproportionate number of black people being subject to stop and search continues to increase, as do the numbers of BAME people dying after use of police force and restraint,” he said.

Earlier this week, Met commissioner Cressida Dick said she did not believe the force was racist, and that it had made progress following the Macpherson report.