Letter: Lawrence tragedy

Sir: Only if Sir Paul Condon resigns can we believe that the message that racism will be taken seriously has been heard by the Establishment in general and the police in particular.

We have had serious incidents before and change has been promised but nothing has altered. Racist police officers have not been sacked, black men continue to be stopped disproportionately and you are more likely to be prosecuted, convicted and sent to prison if you are black.

Already apologists for the police are trotting out the phrases about not all police officers being racist. We all know this, but there is a racist culture in the police force which has allowed black Englishmen to be treated differently by those sworn to protect them under the law.

It is not a belief that Sir Paul is personally racist that makes it necessary for him to resign. Every policeman must know that failing to treat all citizens equally will result in the most serious consequences and every officer must know that they will be held responsible if they do not prevent racist behaviour in those serving under them.

STEPHEN NEWTE

Chilworth, Surrey

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