Letter: Lawrence ignored

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The Independent Culture

Lawrence ignored

Sir: The reported critical remarks (26 July) of former Detective Inspector Ben Bullock in relation to Doreen and Neville Lawrence make depressing reading. Even after making allowance for the feelings of a man left to face charges alone in connection with an investigation that was found to be incompetent, it is extraordinary that he appears to have learnt nothing from the whole affair. A little humility would have gone a long way.

His attitude - and the unstinting support given to him before his retirement by the Police Federation - signals to the public that some officers in the Metropolitan Police are not prepared to accept the findings of the Macpherson inquiry.

This appears to be a case of the "ground floor" reacting against the new and sincere management approach to be found on the "top floor" within the Metropolitan Police. Until every officer has understood the lessons that emerge from the failed investigation into the death of Stephen Lawrence and each officer is prepared to work with common resolve to provide a police service for London that can command universal respect, there can be little hope for improved relations with the communities they serve.

I know many officers have understood the message but the time has come to say to those who share similar views to Mr Bullock that there is no place left for them in the police. Go now, and go quickly.


London SW4

The writer is a former chair of the Community-Police Consultative Group for Lambeth