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The BBC's Liz Mackean reports
"One year after publication the verdict was little has changed"
 real 28k

Imran Khan speaks to the BBC
"It appears the government is cherry-picking"
 real 28k

Glen Smythe talks to the BBC
"There have been negative outcomes"
 real 28k

Saturday, 19 February, 2000, 14:59 GMT
Race review slams police progress

Stephen Lawrence memorial The Stephen Lawrence case is a byword for bad policing


Police attitudes to racism have barely improved in the year since the Macpherson report into the death of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, a London conference has heard.

Families of victims of racial violence joined campaigners, lawyers and political commentators to discuss how far the police have come in rejecting institutional racism.

The family of Stephen Lawrence and the relatives of several other high profile race attack victims attended the conference on Saturday.

Anti-racism campaigners say little has changed since the publication of the report.

Imran Khan, the Lawrence family solicitor, told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme the report had been useful but that there had been a sense of betrayal on behalf of those in leadership.

'Cherry-picking'

"There has been a real positive impact as far as ordinary people are concerned, unfortunately those in positions of power have not embraced generally the recommendations of the report.

"It appears the government is cherry-picking in terms of the recommendations which came out of the Macpherson report."

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Glen Smythe said: "The overall impact of the report in the longer term will be extremely positive for the police force in London and the people of London.

"In the short term however, there have been negative outcomes - morale has been affected and it has had an effect on recruitment."

The one-day conference heard several families recount their poor experiences of policing in the last year.

Sir William Macpherson Sir William has accused some police officers of "whingeing"
When Sir William published his report in February last year he said he hoped police would seize the opportunity for "root and branch" reform of race relations.

The Metropolitan Police and other forces have taken up the challenge.

One of the authors of the report, Bishop of Stepney John Sentamu, said he was satisfied with progress one year on.

The past year had seen a massive rise in reports and prosecutions of racist crimes, he said.

He told the Today programme: "If you look at the figures, reporting has gone up by 85% and people being arrested by 117%. The clear-up has actually gone up and the reason is because people are beginning to have confidence in the police, in reporting these crimes.

"The figures of people going before the courts are quite astounding. Racists accused and brought before the court - 158% increase."

But campaigners at Saturday's conference said there has been no significant improvement.

Suresh Grover, of the National Civil Rights Movement, said: "We still feel most of the Metropolitan Police community safety units are not effective, are not trusted by the victims of racial violence, and are not resourced properly."

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See also:
18 Feb 00 |  UK
Lawrence witnesses 'still under guard'
23 Feb 99 |  Stephen Lawrence
Who polices the police?
03 Feb 00 |  UK
New hope in Lawrence case
06 Jan 00 |  UK
Lawrence case 'a tragedy for police'
10 Feb 00 |  UK
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