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Monday, 11 September, 2000, 14:57 GMT 15:57 UK
Police launch race crime guide
Police learn
Officers will be given a guide to handle race crimes
Police have launched an initiative to help officers understand and deal with race crime in a more sensitive manner.

The Guide to Identifying and Combating Hate Crime will help officers to recognise race crime and advise them on dealing with the victims of racial attacks.

It has been produced by the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) following the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent inquiry into the police investigation.

It is hoped that providing front-line officers with the guide will help to cut the number of racist and homophobic attacks in the future.

Ethnic officers
Many ethnic officers say police is 'white dominated'

That Macpherson Report into the Stephen Lawrence inquiry concluded that the Metropolitan Police were "institutionally racist".

The London force has said it is producing its own guidelines for dealing with ethnic minorities in a separate 129-page handbook which will be distributed to its 25,000 officers.

This booklet gives advice on dealing with ethnic minorities, warning officers not to touch a Sikh's turban or offend the Chinese community by talking about Triad gangs, for example.

Nevertheless, a report last month to the UN racism monitoring committee said British police forces were still not doing enough to tackle racism.

'White culture'

A survey of police officers from ethnic backgrounds revealed that many felt "overpowered" by the dominant white culture in the police service.

ACPO consulted with the Stephen Lawrence inquiry steering group and representatives of Britain's major ethnic minorities before compiling the report.

The guide will be available to officers in England, Scotland and Wales. A similar guide was made available to Scottish police officers last month.

"The guide incorporates all the lessons we have learned from previous investigations and aims to provide a new benchmark for our approach to tackling this most pernicious form of crime," said Tony Burden, ACPO's First Vice President and Chief Constable of South Wales Police.

"I am confident that the guide will prove an effective tool not only in combating hate crime but in raising awareness of the psychological trauma experienced by victims," he added.

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See also:

23 Aug 00 | UK Politics
Row over UK 'racism'
01 Aug 00 | Scotland
Police given race crime guidance
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