Met Police Chief: Stephen Lawrence inquiry ‘defined my generation of policing’

Met Police Chief: Stephen Lawrence inquiry ‘defined my generation of policing’

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said that the police force will not forget Stephen Lawrence's legacy.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said the public inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence “defined” her generation of policing, after the report branded the police force to be institutionally racist.

Commissioner Dick said the legacy of Stephen Lawrence would not be forgotten 20 years on from the 1999 Macpherson Report into the aftermath of the black teenager's murder.

Ms Dick said she did not believe the Met Police were institutionally racist.

"I simply don't see it as a helpful or accurate description.

"This is an utterly different Metropolitan Police."

 

 

Currently 14% of Met officers are from BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) backgrounds.

This is 16% among PCs but falls to a proportion of only 4% for chief officers.

BAME officers and staff are also more likely to resign from the force or raise grievances, and the Met's HR department found that it would take 100 years to match the proportions of the population of London if it continued to recruit at current rates.

 

'We're not at all complacent' 

Baroness Doreen Lawrence and her son Stuart at a memorial last year, marking 25 years since Stephen's murder. 

Stephen was murdered by a gang of teenage boys while waiting for a bus in Eltham, south-east London, in 1993.

The initial investigation into his death was hampered by claims of racism, corruption and incompetence, and it took nearly 20 years for two of his killers to finally be brought to justice.

Ms Dick paid tribute to Stephen's parents, Baroness Doreen Lawrence and Neville Lawrence, whom she said had fought "absolutely tirelessly" for justice for their son.

 

 

She said: "The Stephen Lawrence public inquiry has defined my generation of policing. It's very hard to think of any other one event which has made such a big impact on policing.

"We're not at all complacent. London keeps on changing and there are lots of challenges for us in policing it well and giving the best possible service to all our communities.

"We are ambitious for the future, we are not going to forget Stephen or his legacy and we will continue to educate our officers about why it is that this police service does what it does now, and how that comes from the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry."

The force wants to boost recruitment of BAME officers to 35% within the next year, which would mean another 250 officers per year.

The Met admitted last year that it had no new leads in the investigation into Stephen's murder, but Ms Dick said “a small handful” of officers were continuing to work on the case.