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Thursday, September 24, 1998 Published at 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK


Police chief tackles racism

Stephen Lawrence's parents blame police failings

Police officers will be trained in awareness of racism in response to the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The move follows widespread criticism over the Metropolitan Police's failure to bring the killers to justice.

[ image: Met chief Sir Paul Condon: Recruits must be tested]
Met chief Sir Paul Condon: Recruits must be tested
The force's chief, Sir Paul Condon, will give details of the anti-racism initiatives at the inquiry into the murder, which resumes on Thursday.

Sir Paul announced in August that new recruits would be tested for awareness of race issues. He also pledged to monitor the numbers of people from ethnic minorities who were stopped, searched, arrested and charged.

A Racial and Violent Crime task force has already been established.

Sir Paul is expected to provide further details of the proposed changes when he addresses the Lawrence Inquiry next week.

[ image: Stephen Lawrence: His killers have never been convicted]
Stephen Lawrence: His killers have never been convicted
The Association of Chief Police Officers will be the first organisation to be heard.

Its president designate, John Newing, caused a controversy when he said last month that racism played a part in the failure of the Metropolitan Police to catch Stephen Lawrence's killers.

Representatives from the Home Office, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Superintendents' Association will also be heard on Thursday.

Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in Eltham, south east London, in April, 1993.

No one has ever been convicted for his killing, although five white men have all at various been times been charged in the case.

Several anti-racist campaign groups will also give evidence over its next two weeks in London, as will Scotland Yard and the Crown Prosecution Service.

The inquiry will then hold a series of public meetings in east and west London, Manchester, Bradford and Bristol. Its report is due in December.

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