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Wednesday, 24 March, 1999, 10:50 GMT
Lawrence: Key recommendations
Click here to read Sir William Macpherson's full report on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.

The Macpherson Report into the Stephen Lawrence case contains 70 key recommendations for society to show "zero tolerance" for racism.

They include measures aimed at improving the accountability of the police.

But Sir William Macpherson's report also demands action in other public bodies. The judicial system, the civil service, local government, the NHS and schools will all have to make changes if the recommendations are implemented in full.

Recommendations in full:

Openess, accountability, and the restoration of confidence

1. That a Ministerial Priority be established for all Police Services: "To increase trust and confidence in policing amongst minority ethnic communities".

2. The process of implementing, monitoring and assessing the Ministerial Priority should include Performance Indicators in relation to:

  • the existence and application of strategies for the prevention recording, investigation and prosecution of racist incidents;
  • measures to encourage reporting of racist incidents;
  • the number of recorded racist incidents and related detection levels;
  • the degree of multi-agency cooperation and information exchange;
  • achieving equal satisfaction levels across all ethnic groups in public satisfaction surveys;
  • the adequacy of provision and training of family and witness/victim liaison officers;
  • the nature, extent and achievement of racism awareness training;
  • the policy directives governing stop and search procedures and their outcomes;
  • levels of recruitment, retention and progress of minority ethnic recruits; and levels of complaint of racist behaviour or attitude and their outcomes. The overall aim being the elimination of racist prejudice and disadvantage and the demonstration of fairness in all aspects of policing.

    3. That Her Majesty's Inspectors of Constabulary (HMIC) be granted full and unfettered powers and duties to inspect all parts of Police Services including the Metropolitan Police Service.

    4. That in order to restore public confidence an inspection by HMIC of the Metropolitan Police Service be conducted forthwith. The inspection to include examination of current undetected HOLMES based murders and reviews into such cases.

    5. That principles and standards similar to those of the Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED) be applied to inspections of police services, in order to improve standards of achievement and quality of policing through regular inspection, public reporting and informed independent advice.

    6. That proposals as to the formation of the Metropolitan Police Authority be reconsidered, with a view to bringing its functions and powers fully into line with those which apply to other police services, including the power to appoint all chief officers of the Metropolitan Police Service.

    7. That the Home Secretary and police authorities should seek to ensure that the membership of police authorities reflects so far as possible the cultural and ethnic mix of the communities which those authorities serve.

    8. That HMIC shall be empowered to recruit and to use lay inspectors in order to conduct examination and inspection of police services particularly in connection with performance in the area of investigation of racist crime.

    9. That a Freedom of Information Act should apply to all areas of policing, both operational and administrative, subject only to the "substantial harm" test for withholding disclosure.

    10. That investigating officers' reports resulting from public complaints should not attract Public Interest Immunity as a class. They should be disclosed to complainants, subject only to the "substantial harm" test for withholding disclosure.

    11. That the full force of the race relations legislation should apply to all police officers, and that chief officers of police should be made vicariously liable for the acts and omissions of their officers relevant to that legislation.

    Definition of racist incident

    12. That the definition should be: "A racist incident is any incident which is perceived to be racist by the victim or any other person."

    13. That the term "racist incident" must be understood to include crimes and non-crimes in policing terms. Both must be reported, recorded and investigated with equal commitment.

    14. That this definition should be universally adopted by the police, local government and other relevant agencies.

    Reporting and recording of racist incidents and crimes

    15. That codes of practice be established by the Home Office, in consultation with police services, local government and relevant agencies, to create a comprehensive system of reporting and recording of all racist incidents and crimes.

    16. That all possible steps should be taken by police services at local level in consultation with local government and other agencies and local communities to encourage the reporting of racist incidents and crimes. This should include:

  • the ability to report at locations other than police stations;
  • the ability to report 24 hours a day.

    17. That there should be close co-operation between police services and local government and other agencies, including in particular housing and education departments, to ensure that all information as to racist incidents and crimes is shared and is readily available to all agencies.

    Police practice and the investigation of racist of crime

    18. That ACPO, in consultation with local Government and other relevant agencies, should review its Good Practice Guide for Police Response to Racial Incidents in the light of this report and our recommendations. Consideration should be given to the production by ACPO of a manual or model for such investigation, to complement their current Manual of Murder Investigation.

    19. That ACPO devise Codes of Practice to govern reviews of investigations of crime, in order to ensure that such reviews are open and thorough. Such codes should be consistently used by all Police Services. Consideration should be given to such practice providing for reviews to be carried out by an external Police Service.

    20. That MPS procedures at the scene of incidents be reviewed in order to ensure co-ordination between uniformed and CID officers and to ensure that senior officers are aware of and fulfil the command responsibilities which their role demands.

    21. That the MPS review their procedures for the recording and retention of information in relation to incidents and crimes, to ensure that adequate records are made by individual officers and specialist units in relation to their functions, and that strict rules require the retention of all such records as long as an investigation remains open.

    22. That MPS review their internal inspection and accountability processes to ensure that policy directives are observed.

    Family liaison

    23. That police services should ensure that at local level there are readily available designated and trained family liaison officers.

    24. That training of family liaison officers must include training in racism awareness and cultural diversity, so that the families are treated appropriately, professionally, with respect and according to their needs.

    25. That family liaison officers shall, where appointed, be dedicated primarily if not exclusively to that task.

    26. That senior investigation officers and family liaison officers be made aware that good practice and their positive duty shall be the satisfactory management of family liaison, together with the provision to a victim's family of all possible information about the crime and its investigation.

    27. That good practice shall provide that any request made by the family of a victim which is not acceded to, and any complaint by any member of the family, shall be formally recorded by the SIO and shall be reported to the immediate superior officer.

    28. That police services and victim support services ensure that their systems provide for the pro-active use of local contacts within minority ethnic communities to assist with family liaison where appropriate.

    Victims and witnesses

    29. That police services should, together with the Home Office, develop guidelines as to the handling of victims and witnesses, particularly in the field of racist incidents and crimes. The victim's charter to be reviewed in this context.

    30. That police services and victim support services ensure that their systems provide for the pro-active use of local contacts within minority ethnic communities to assist with victim support and with the handling and interviewing of sensitive witnesses.

    31. That police services ensure the provision of training and the availability of victim/witness liaison officers, and ensure their use in appropriate areas, particularly in the field of racist incidents and crimes, where the need for a sensitive approach to young and vulnerable victims and witnesses is paramount.

    Prosecution of racist crimes

    32. That the standard of proof of such crimes should remain unchanged.

    33. That the CPS should consider that, in deciding whether a criminal prosecution should proceed, once the CPS evidential test is satisfied, there should be a rebuttable presumption that the public interest test should be in favour of prosecution.

    34. That police services and the CPS should ensure that particular care is taken at all stages of prosecution to recognise and to include reference to any evidence of racist motivation. In particular it should be the duty of the CPS to ensure that such evidence is referred to both at trial and in the sentencing process (including Newton hearings). The CPS and counsel to ensure that no "plea bargaining" should ever be allowed to exclude such evidence.

    35. That the CPS ensure that a victim or victim's family shall be consulted and kept informed as to any proposal to discontinue proceedings.

    36. That the CPS should have the positive duty always to notify a victim and victim's family personally of a decision to discontinue, particularly in cases of a racist crime, with speed and sensitivity.

    37. That the CPS ensure that all decisions to discontinue any prosecution should be carefully and fully recorded in writing, and that save in exceptional circumstances, such written decisions should be disclosable to a victim or a victim's family.

    38. That consideration should be given to the Court of Appeal being given power to permit prosecution after acquittal where fresh and viable evidence is presented.

    39. That consideration should be given to amendment of the law to allow prosecution of offences involving racist language or behaviour, and of offences involving the possession of offensive weapons, where such conduct can be proved to have taken place otherwise than in a public place.

    40. That the ability to initiate a private prosecution should remain unchanged.

    41. That consideration should be given to the proposition that victims or victims' families should be allowed to become "civil parties" to criminal proceedings, to facilitate and to ensure the provision of all relevant information to victims or their families.

    42. That there should be advance disclosure of evidence and documents as of right to parties who have leave from a coroner to appear at an inquest.

    43. That consideration be given to the provision of legal aid to victims or the families of victims to cover representation at an inquest in appropriate cases.

    44. That police services and the courts seek to prevent the intimidation of victims and witnesses by imposing appropriate bail conditions.


    First aid

    45. That first aid training for all "public contact" police officers (including senior officers) should at once be reviewed and revised to ensure that they have basic skills to apply first aid officers must be taught to "think first aid", and first and foremost "A (Airways), B (Breathing) and C (Circulation)".

    46. That training in first aid, including refresher training, should include testing to recognised and published standards in every police service.

    47. That police services should annually review first aid training, and ensure that "public contact" officers are trained and tested to recognised and published standards.

    Racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity

    48.That there should be immediate review and revision of racism awareness training within police services to ensure:

  • that there exists a consistent strategy to deliver appropriate training within all police services, based upon the value of our cultured diversity;
  • that training courses are designed and delivered in order to develop the full understanding that good community relations are essential to good policing and that a racist officer is an incompetent officer.

    49. That all police officers, including CID and civilian staff, should be training in racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity.

    50. That police training and practical experience in the field of racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity should regularly be conducted at local level. And that it should be recognised that local minority ethnic communities should be involved in such training and experience.

    51. That consideration be given by police services to promotion joint training with members of other organisations or professions otherwise than on police premises.

    52. That the Home Office, together with police services, should publish recognised standards of training aims and objectives in the field of racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity.

    53. That there should be independent and regular monitoring of training within all police services to test both implementation and achievement of such training.

    54. That consideration be given to a review of the provision of training in racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity in local government and other agencies including other sections of the criminal justice system.

    Employment, discipline and complaints

    55. That the changes to police disciplinary and complaints procedures proposed by the Home Secretary should be fully implemented and closely and publicly monitored as to their effectiveness.

    56. That in order to eliminate the present provision which prevents disciplinary action after retirement, disciplinary action should be available for at least five years after an officer's retirement.

    57. That the police services should, through the implementation of a code of conduct or otherwise, ensure that racist words or acts proved to have been spoken or done by police officers should lead to disciplinary proceedings, and that it should be understood that such conduct should usually merit dismissal.

    58. That the Home Secretary, taking into account the strong expression of public perception in this regard, consider what steps can and should be taken to ensure that serious complaints against police officers are independently investigated. Investigation of police officers by their own or another police service is widely regarded as unjust, and does not inspire public confidence.

    59. That the Home Office review and monitor the system and standards of police services applied to the selection and promotion of officers of the rank of inspector and above. Such procedures for selection and promotion to be monitored and assessed regularly.

    Stop and search

    60. That the powers of the police under current legislation are required for the prevention and detection of crime and should remain unchanged.

    61. That the Home Secretary, in consultation with police services, should ensure that a record is made by police officers of all "stops" and "stops and searches" made under any legislative provision (not just the police and Criminal Evidence Act). Non-statutory or so called "voluntary" stops must also be recorded. The record to include the reason for the stop, the outcome, and the self-defined ethnic identity of the person stopped. A copy of the record shall be given to the person stopped.

    62. That these records should be monitored and analysed by police services and police authorities, and reviewed by HMIC on inspections. The information and analysis should be published.

    63. That police authorities be given the duty to undertake publicity campaigns to ensure that the public is aware of "stop and search" provisions and the right to receive a record in all circumstances.

    Recruitment and retention

    64. That the Home Secretary and police authorities' policing plans should include targets for recruitment, progression and retention of minority ethnic staff. Police authorities to report progress to the Home Secretary annually. Such reports to be published.

    65. That the Home Office and the police services should facilitate the development of initiatives to increase the number of qualified minority ethnic recruits.

    66. That HMIC include in any regular inspection or in a thematic inspection a report on the progress made by police services in recruitment, progression and retention of minority ethnic staff.

    Prevention and the role of education

    67. That consideration be given to amendment of the National Curriculum aimed at valuing cultural diversity and preventing racism, in order better to reflect the needs of a diverse society.

    68. That local education authorities and school governors have the duty to create and implement strategies in their schools to prevent and address racism. Such strategies to include:

  • that schools record all racist incidents; that all recorded incidents are reported to the pupils' parents/guardians, school governors and LEAs;
  • that the numbers of racist incidents are published annually, on a school by school basis;
  • that the numbers and self defined ethnic identity of "excluded" pupils are published annually on a school by school basis.

    69. That OFSTED inspections include examination of the implementation of such strategies.

    70. That in creating strategies under the provisions of the Crime and Disorder Act or otherwise police services, local government and relevant agencies should specifically consider implementing community and local initiatives aimed at promoting cultural diversity and addressing racism and the need for focused, consistent support for such initiatives.

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