BY JAMES TWOMEY
The father of Stephen Lawrence has said that “changes have stopped being made” in the fight against racially-motivated crime.
Dr Neville Lawrence – whose son Stephen was murdered in a racist attack in Eltham in 1993 – told a group at London Metropolitan University that more needed to be done to tackle the “growing problem of knife crime”.
Dr Lawrence said: “It is 20 years since the public inquiry on the murder of my son – which happened almost 26 years ago.
“We are using this conference to ask questions about what has been done and we want to identify what still needs to be done next.
“I am concerned that after the initial inquiry lots of progress was made and I am pleased to see people were making things better.
“However, people have now forgotten about this and change is no longer being made and I am disappointed in this. My family and I have suffered enough.
“We need to make things better and this event is to make people wake up. “The day after my son’s murder, I thought it would be in the papers the next day and I thought there would be an outcry. But there was nothing.
“I still visit my son’s grave and see people he grew up with having their own children and all I can think is whether he would have had his own.”
Dr Lawrence was joined by London Met police commissioner Cressida Dick and Professor John Grieve, head of the John Grieve Centre for Policing and Community Safety to examine the progress that has been made 20 years on from the start of the Macpherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Professor John Grieve, said: “We at London Metropolitan University wanted to support the Lawrence family, Duwayne Brooks – who was attacked on the night of his friend Stephen Lawrence’s racist murder – and all other victims of hatred and violence by examining the impact of the Stephen Lawrence Public Inquiry Recommendations 20 years ago.
“We will also be exploring what we can do to promote learning from these terrible events and their aftermath. We aspire to find new ways forward, perhaps for the next 20 years.
“To that end we are gathering communities across London who are going to use contemporary technology and processes to try and find some solutions to hatred and violence.”
Ms Dick said the Met had undertaken measure to tackle the problems posed by knife crime such as increasing stop and search by about a third, putting extra effort into community engagement and assured the audience that change was an ongoing process.
Ms Dick said: “We have a zero-tolerance approach to racism in policing and we will go on relearning the lessons from the Macpherson enquiry and improve as an organisation.”