Met Police ‘did not dig deep enough’ to confront racism after Lawrence murder

- Advertisement -

The Metropolitan Police “did not dig deep enough” to confront racism following the murder of Stephen Lawrence 30 years ago, its commissioner has said.

Sir Mark Rowley apologised for failings in the aftermath of the killing, which led to the force’s response to it being branded institutionally racist in the 1999 Macpherson report.

The Casey Review into the Metropolitan Police last month found the force to be institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic in the wake of a series of scandals including the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer and Pc David Carrick being unmasked as a serial rapist.

The bungled original murder investigation was hampered by racism and alleged police corruption, which meant it took nearly 20 years for two of the 18-year-old’s five killers to be brought to justice, with three never prosecuted.

Mr Rowley said a failure to robustly confront “cultural and systemic” failings, which were exposed by the force’s response to the murder, had undermined its ability to fight crime and pledged to “finally” make the Met determinedly anti-racist.

There remain too few black officers and too many of them face discrimination within the force’s ranks, he added.

He said in a statement: “Thirty years on from Stephen’s murder, we offer our sympathies to the Lawrence family on their unimaginable loss.

“He was a dearly loved son and brother who was taken from them far too soon and in such senseless circumstances.

“Their dignified fight for justice, conducted in the pressure of the public eye with unwavering determination over so many years, continues to be a source of inspiration for us and so many.

“On behalf of the Metropolitan Police, I apologise again for our past failings which will have made the grief of losing a loved one all the more difficult to endure.

“This anniversary, which closely follows the stark findings of the Casey Review, prompts us to pause, to remember and to reflect honestly on how policing has responded to the necessary calls for change that have punctuated the past 30 years.

“Whilst significant progress was made against Macpherson’s recommendations, it is now clear that we did not dig deep enough to confront the cultural and systemic failings that allow discrimination to propagate.

“This failing has undermined the experience of our increasingly diverse workforce and compromised the trust of Londoners and our ability to protect them from crime.

“We have let black communities down. They feel over-policed and under-protected.

“We are still not sufficiently representative of London, black officers and staff still face discrimination and are not always sufficiently supported to progress within the Met.

“There are disproportionalities and systemic biases in our use of policing tactics and our support to victims of crime.

“We are deeply sorry for these failings.

“The responsibility for righting those wrongs, restoring the relationship with those communities and supporting our black colleagues to succeed starts with those of us in positions of leadership but it continues through every rank and role in our organisation.

“I and the good majority of our officers are resolved to finally make the Met determinedly anti-racist and anti-discrimination of all kinds.”

The murdered teenager’s family will hold a memorial service at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square on Saturday to mark the 30th anniversary of his death.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer are expected to attend.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.