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Gurbux Singh, Chairman, CRE
discusses the issues with Gerald Howarth MP
 real 28k

Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK
Act on race crimes says CRE chief
Stephen Lawrence
The Stephen Lawrence case highlighted racial issues
The new chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality is urging the police and the government to provide better protection to ethnic minorities after an alarming rise in race crime.

Reported racially-motivated crime has more than doubled in London since last year indicating a "massive" rise across the country, the Commission for Racial Equality has warned.

There were 23,346 recorded racial incidents in the capital in 1999/2000 compared to 11,050 the previous year, according to Metropolitan Police figures.

This equates to 63 incidents every day said new CRE chairman Gurbux Singh.



We need to send a clear message to the racists that they will be caught and prosecuted

CRE chairman Gurbux Singh

This year's national figures are not yet available for comparison with the 1998/99 data, but a CRE spokeswoman said she expected nationwide rates to mirror the London figures.

Speaking on Tuesday in his first week as CRE chairman, Mr Singh said: "My job is to make sure that the police never again place a lower priority on catching those who victimise other human beings just because of the colour of their skin.

"Ethnic minorities need better support and better protection from the police."

He called on police to take racist incidents seriously, listen to local communities and utilise modern surveillance and intelligence-gathering techniques against offenders.

"We need to send a clear message to the racists that they will be caught and prosecuted," he said.

Calling for a "zero-tolerance policy" against racists, Mr Singh said lenient sentences "send out a message that it is all right to be a racist".

Race crime top priority

"The proof of whether these policies were working will come in the shape of a greater diversity of people working in the public sector," he added.

"More emphasis on tackling poor education, poor housing and poor social services that specifically affect ethnic minority communities and individuals."

On Tuesday Mr Singh will visit the London Borough of Newham, where the number of recorded racial incidents has trebled from 393 in 1998/99 to 1,338 in 1999/00.

He will warn police chiefs, including the Met's Deputy Commissioner Ian Blair, that they must make fighting race crime their main priority.

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