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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 16:05 GMT
Meeting Macpherson's aims





The Macpherson report made 70 recommendations into improving police attitudes to racism, setting a tough target which is being scrutinised a year on.

Sir William Macpherson's report, based on the police handling of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, delivered a damning assessment of the "institutional racism" within British policing.

Home Secretary Jack Straw has said there has been a major change in police attitudes, but does an examination of some of the key recommendations justify his claim?

Priority to be given to increasing trust and confidence in policing.

Continued bad publicity in the wake of the Macpherson report has been seen as highly damaging to police image. The situation has been made worse with failures in high profile cases such as the Jill Dando murder hunt.

The Metropolitan Police Service is reported to be demoralised and low on morale.

Alistair Graham, who takes over as head of the Police Complaints Authority in April, has pledged to change people's perception of the PCA, hopefully boosting confidence in police integrity.

New measures to encourage reporting of racist incidents

Recent statistics show the number of reported racist incidents has risen by 175% in the last year. The number of arrests for racist incidents has risen 150%.

Stop-and-search procedures must be made fully accountable.

Officers must now file reports on each stop-and-search case, detailing the ethnicity of the subject. A copy of the report must be presented the person involved.

There has been a fall in the use of stop-and-search, linked by critics to a rise in violent street crime.

Many say police are afraid to use stop and search powers for fear of being branded racist, yet many black and Asian people - including Stephen Lawrence's father Neville who filed a complaint after being stopped - say they are being unfairly targeted.

Extension of race relations laws to incorporate police forces.

Completed last year, but racial awareness campaigners say the changes fall short of the mark, addressing only direct discrimination and ignoring indirect prejudice.

Ensure the cultural and ethnic mix of police officers matches that of the communities served.

Sir William Macpherson: 70 recommendations
The Home Office has introduced strict new quotas for the recruitment of ethnic minorities. The number of ethnic minority recruits in the Met topped 1,000 for the first time this year.

However this represents only 4% of the force, serving a city in which 25% of the population is made up of ethnic minorities.

Formation of a new Metropolitan Police Authority

On its way as part of a legislative package introduced alongside the inauguration of a new London mayor.

Definition of a racist incident to include those perceived as racist by the victim or any other person

The new definition was accepted by former Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Paul Condon shortly after the publication of the Macpherson report.
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See also:
23 Feb 00 |  UK
Government defends anti-race record
21 Feb 00 |  UK
British society 'still racist'
19 Feb 00 |  UK
Race review slams police progress
23 Feb 99 |  Stephen Lawrence
Who polices the police?

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