Charged for his murder

In this report I am going to be critically anaylising the changes that have been brought forward following the Larence Report which was written by Sir William Mcphereson in 1999. Usually the triggers for change have multiple causes according to Tsang 1997:74-75. The police have multiple causes for change as the have been under a lot of scrutiny about being racist in the police force. Black teenager Stephen Lawrence was murdered by racist thugs at a bus stop in Eltham South-east London. A bungled police investigationmeans no one has been charged for his murder.

Institutional racism consist of the collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour culture or ethnic origin. It can be seen or dectected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness, and racist stereotypingo which disadvantage minority ethnic people. The McPherson report into the racist murder of Stelhan Lawrence acted as a wakeup call to the public services.

Aswell as examining the problem of institutional racism in the police force, the report found that public bodies do not take the issue seriously. Institutional racism concluded the Mcpherson report into the police investigation of the murder of Stephan Lawrence exists within bth the metroplolitan Police Service and in other police services and other institutions country wise. The Metropolitan police responded to the report by promising to clean up it's acts under the slogan "protect and respect" for the police and for Britains black community.

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and the finding of institutional racism within the Metropolitan Police Service initiated one of the widest ranging internal scrutinies ever undertaken by a public sector organisation. That scrutiny has included both a review of how we deal externally with the increasingly diverse community of London together with an examination of the internal working and culture of the Mps. This program has already realised significant improvements in the way in which we deal with issues which are high on the agenda for the community that the police serve serve:

The setting up of a cadre of specially trained family liaison officers who provide the vital link between the senior investigating officer and the family of victims of homicide. All these officers have been trained about the differing cultural needs in London. The piloting of the improved use of stop and search at seven sites across London and detailed independent analysis of the tactic, has shown that the power is one that can be effectively used to prevent and detect crime.

Our aim is to use stop an search on an itelligence-led basis and for it to be used in a fair and appropriate way to the individual who is stopped. In this way, we will aim to make a positive impact on local crime problems, with the support of the local community. The establishment of dedicated community safety units within each. London borough. Specially selected and trained staff deal with those crime which crimes which have a highly damaging impact upon their victims- racially motivated crime, domestic violence and offences motivated by homophobia.

Our commitment to providing a sensitive and caring service which is appropriate to the individual need of the victim has resulted in a 74% increase in the level of reporting of racially motivated crime comparing November 1998 with November 1999. (information taken from ) A programme of community and race relation training is underway throughout the MPS to provide CRR training to all of our workforce. Our priority lies with operational police personnel who provide a direct service to the public on a daily basis.

Delivered by independent consultants, the training includes members of the local community who discuss their direct personal experience of policing in London. The positive action team are delivering a strategy designed to deliver the Home Secretary's target of having a police service which is representative of the community it serves. For the MPS, this will mean that the proportion of police officers from the minority ethnic backgrounds will need to raise to 25% by 2pr009. At present 3. 5% f police officers come from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The strategy is also reviewing the progression and retention of our minority ethnic officers. From this information you can see that the police have to be sensitive to racism in their recruitment process. The setting up of a independent advisory group which provides an outside perspective on specific aspects of our training and service delivery. In this way, the needs of London minority ethnic communities remains our focus. Underpinning much of the operational change has been the establishment of the Racial and Violent Crime Task Force, headed by Deputy Assistant Commisioner John Grieve.

Commended within the recent HMIC inspection 'Policing London Winning Consent' for securing credibility both within the police service and among minority ethnic communities, this team has been at the forefront of developing new service delivery for victims of racist crime and the better use intelligence relating to racist offences. Tangible and specific changes to tackle insititutional racism are the apparent elements of the diversity strategy. The more problematical issue is that of the impact on the workforce of the finding of instiutional racism. Police officers have viewed the term as a personal attack upon their professionalism.

Understanding how the term 'insititutional racism' relates to themselves is not easy- 'institutional racism' has a negative connotation and it is difficult to diagnose and quantify. Many consider that it is not a useful starting point upon which to built sustainable change, indeed for some, it 'polarizes rather than mobilizes. This part of the diverse strategy could have implications on the way in which people in the police force work because they are seeing this criticism as an attack on everyone even though not everyone in the police force is racist.

They have to accept the changes that have been implemented in the police force because there is a problem with racism but because of this minority everyone else has to take the effects of the changes. Within the MPS, we have witnessed officers withdrawing from potentially confrontational situations with minority ethnic communities fearing a complaint against their actions which could lead to disciplinary action against them. Providing our staff with the confidence to deal effectively with the wide range of issues which confront them on a daily basis is a challenge for all of our managers.

Officers need to be equipped with relevant and appropriate skills to face the challenge of policing in the 21st century. They also need to see positive and tangible outcomes of their work. We are now starting to see a continuing increase in the level of satisfaction expressed by victims of racially motivated crime in the service they receive from police. Officers of all ranks are now working more closely with other agencies, both statutory and voluntary, on a local basis, to deal with problems that effect all local communites.