Police to be subject to race law

Click to follow
Indy Politics

The Government today signalled its intention to bring the police under the umbrella of Britain's race laws making chief officers liable for racial discrimination in the ranks.

The Government today signalled its intention to bring the police under the umbrella of Britain's race laws making chief officers liable for racial discrimination in the ranks.

An amendment to the 20-year-old Race Relations Act would extend its provisions to the public sector including the police, prisons and immigration service.

Former Prime Minister Lord Callaghan has admitted his Labour Government made a mistake in bowing to pressure to leave police out of the existing legislation.

Today's announcement follows a pledge made by Home Secretary Jack Straw in response to the publication of the report on the Stephen Lawrence case in February this year.

Mr Straw said that while the private sector had been liable under the Act, the Government had "failed to keep its own house in order".

The Bill would extend the 1976 Act to make it unlawful for public bodies to racially discriminate.

It would also make chief police officers vicariously liable for racial discrimination by their officers.

But equality campaigners said that the move did not go far enough and will launch a campaign today for further changes.

The Commission for Racial Equality was joining 19 other organisations today for a special conference - Act Against Racism - to highlight the need for wider reform.

Comments