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Tuesday, 23 April, 2002, 09:14 GMT 10:14 UK
Police racism 'struggle' continues
Stephen Lawrence
Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in 1993
A retiring senior police officer who admitted the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist has said the "struggle" against racism must go on.

Deputy assistant commissioner John Grieve was speaking ahead of his retirement from the force next week.

An awful lot has been done but there is huge amount of work to do

John Grieve
His departure has been viewed with trepidation by some who fear that his work in tackling race crime may not continue at the same pace.

Imran Khan, the solicitor for the family of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme he was concerned there would be a downgrading of the police taskforce to tackle race crime.

But Mr Grieve was emphatic that this would not be the case.

He said much had been achieved to tackle "institutional racism" since the Macpherson inquiry report following the murder eight years ago.

Confidence dented

But he accepted that more needed to be done.

Mr Khan said the impression the Racial Violent Crime Taskforce would be downgraded was "leading to a lack of confidence in the black community that the issue of anti-racism is not being taken seriously by the police."

Deputy assistant commissioner John Grieve
John Grieve: Much has been achieved by police team
But Mr Grieve, who is also director of the Racial and Violent Crime Task force, insisted that the commitment would be maintained at the same level.

The deputy assistant commissioner has been credited with spearheading a new approach by the Met to racially-motivated crime which involves working closely with the families of victims.

He was asked if the term "institutional racism" with regards to attitudes within the force was still appropriate.

"An awful lot has been done but there is huge amount of work to do," he said.

He added that it was something that the police force would have to continue to struggle with.

Catalogue of errors

The conclusion of the Macpherson report into the original investigation into Mr Lawrence's murder found there had been a catalogue of errors including inadequate searches, botched identity parades and "institutional racism".

Mr Grieve has already stated his determination to see the 18-year-old teenager's killers brought to justice.

On Today he paid tribute to his taskforce staff in improving investigations into race crime.

And he was optimistic that police recruits now better reflect Britain's diverse culture.

Deputy assistant commissioner John Grieve
"An awful lot has been done but there is huge amount of work to do"
See also:

25 Mar 99 | Stephen Lawrence
The Lawrence inquiry
05 Dec 01 | England
Lawrence police free man on bail
04 Dec 01 | England
Man quizzed over Lawrence murder
14 Sep 01 | UK
Lawrence suspects bailed
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