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.
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants