Neville Lawrence: Police still treat black community like 'thieves and robbers'
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Monday 14 April 2014
The father of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence has told a conference that police were still treating members of the black community as if they were "thieves and robbers".
Asked if there was still tensions between police and the black community, Neville Lawrence replied he had tried to explain to police that they could not tell a group in a community "you're all thieves and robbers" and expect them to help with information when an incident happened but they're still not listening".
Mr Lawrence, who was talking a fringe meeting organised at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester, said: "I've been working with the police for the last 20 years, going into different parts of the organisation, explaining to them the way they should be treating the public when they stop them."
He said he was trying to make them realise "if they treat the community badly and then there's a crime in the community, they won't be getting any information.
"I think something which I've tried to explain to them, but they're still not listening, is you can't say to a group of people in a community 'you're all thieves and robbers' and then when there's a situation and they go in for information, the first thing they're going to tell you is 'I'm a thief, I'm a robber, why are you asking?'"
Stephen, an 18-year-old who wanted to become an architect, was murdered by a group of racists 21 years ago while waiting with a friend at a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London. His family have been fighting ever since to bring his killers to justice.
Mr Lawrence said it took 19 and a half years to bring two his killers to justice even though police had information about the gang who attacked him the following morning but - if his son had committed a murder and the police had information about it - he and his family would have been arrested the following morning.
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights