BY JAMES TWOMEY
The Met have highlighted significant changes in their practices in the last 20 years on the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry which was on Sunday.
Stephen Lawrence was murdered in 1993 in a racist attack and the Met was widely criticised for their actions during the investigation and after.
The inquiry found the force to be ‘institutionally racist’ when investigating the murder of the black teenager.
The Met have highlighted their areas of improvement such as the creation of the family liaison officer role, their community engagement and the diversity of their workforce.
Stephen Lawrence’s mother, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon (pictured above) does not think enough has changed in the Met in the last 20 years.
At a Home Affairs Committee hearing earlier this month Baroness Lawrence outlined her problems with the modern Met.
At the hearing, Baroness Lawrence, said: “I think it is business as usual, and, at the same time, people in the public are still suffering from what we as a family went through back in 1993.”
“I tried to find information that sets out where we have moved on, how many recommendations have been implemented, be it in the police, be it in schools, and I found it really difficult to find anything.
It seems as if things have become really stagnant and nothing seems to have moved.”
“I have always said that senior officers understand how to conduct and how they speak to people, but I still feel that the police on the beat do not get it.
I will drive past or walk past and see one individual – a young black man—with probably about six officers around him.
Do you need that amount of officers – that intimidation?
“It comes down to those in public life, so with the police it should be education.
Unless we start educating our young people to live their best lives, let’s say, we will have the same thing going around. If after 20 years we are still talking about this, it shows that things have not moved on that much.”
Met Commissioner Cressida Dick said: “The murder of Stephen Lawrence has defined my generation of policing.
“There has not been another case that has shaped my own approach to policing the way this one has.
“Now, as we approach the 20th anniversary of the publication of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report – a report that was a huge catalyst for change and reflection – we must consider just how far the Met has come since 1999.
“If it wasn’t for Stephen’s parents’ dignity, passion and tireless drive to make sure the recommendations made in the report were, and continue to be implemented, we wouldn’t have seen the Change and improvements we have in London, society and policing across the country.
“Society must not stand still however, there is more to do to build further on Stephen’s legacy.”