Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point
On Air
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Sunday, January 3, 1999 Published at 16:49 GMT


UK

Lawrence report will be 'painful'

Sir Paul: Faced angry calls for his resignation

The publishing of the report into the killing of black teenager Stephen Lawrence will be a "painful" experience for the police, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Condon has admitted.

The report is the final stage of an inquiry which looked into how the police handled the 1993 murder investigation.

The Lawrence inquiry chairman Sir William Macpherson is expected to release his findings within a matter of weeks.

There are suggestions that it will be highly critical of the force's handling of the case.

Officers facing criticism have been given a final chance to defend themselves before the final version is sent to the Home Secretary, Jack Straw.


[ image: Stephen Lawrence: Stabbed to death in 1993]
Stephen Lawrence: Stabbed to death in 1993
Sir Paul, who denies there is institutional racism in the force, has said he wants to use the report as a starting point for a new process of reform.

He said the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence's death had been "very valuable" and was looking forward to Sir William's report.

Speaking on Sky News' Sunday programme, he said: "It will be painful, it will be challenging but ultimately it must lead to us facing up to the challenge of racism."

Asked about his stance on institutional racism, Sir Paul said he hoped the report would provide a clearer definition of the term but insisted he did not underestimate the problem of racism inside the Met.

"I'm not denying the serious challenge of racism in the police force. What we need is some inspiration, some rallying point for reform."

'I considered my position'

Sir Paul added that he had "considered his position" during the case in which he has come up against angry calls by demonstrators and the Lawrence family to resign.

He said: "I obviously considered my position in this case. If I felt that I had personally done bad things or inappropriate things, clearly, that would have influenced how I felt about my future."

The public inquiry which gathered evidence for the report sparked violent clashes between the police and demonstrators.

There are five "prime suspects" in the case who have all at various times been charged with Stephen's murder in south east London. Three were acquitted at the Old Bailey in 1996. The charges against the other two never went to court.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

23 Dec 98 | UK
Lawrence's Christmas TV plea

19 Dec 98 | UK
Last chance for Lawrence police

18 Dec 98 | UK
Police 'still failing on race relations'





Internet Links


Metropolitan Police

Stephen Lawrence Family Campaign

Commission for Racial Equality


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online