Stephen Lawrence - 10 years on


Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's murder. No one has yet been brought to justice for the killing.

May I ask, why does everyone refer to this as a "racially motivated murder".  If there isn't any evidence to convict anyone over his sad death, how could anyone point a finger of blame?


there are an awful lot of unsolved murders, but I don't see half the effort going into them. perhaps because the victims were white....
we will have enquiry after enquiry until the head of the Met publicly flogs himself on the alter of political correctness (much as we are seeing over bloody sunday)

All sympathy to the Lawrences and yes it probably was a racially motivated crime, but is that so different from any other murder?
According to the Senior Police Officer (female - but that's purely coincidence isn't it ;)), in charge of the Metropolitan Police Diversity (can't call it race anymore) Unit, the Met are still 'Institutionally Racist'.  What a great politically correct expression that is, sits comfortably with the likes of 'position untenable' I find.    

The Met is the oldest police force in the world.  It has set the standard for policing world wide and is even the great grand daddie of the SIB (Bet half the monkies didn't even know that!)It polices one of the largest and most heavily populated cities in the world.  London has been a magnet for every Tom, Dick and Harry for centuries.  So stands to reason, that it's going to have a higher polulation of ethnics.  People who will lack money, employment, education and so on and who will ghettoise areas, where they feel safer amongst their own people, where will be little in the way of language barriers etc.  Each came here for a different reason.

Back to the colour has to be recorded during every stop and search, so officers in Peckham will have higher 'black' counts than those over in lets say......'Golders Green' as one is higher in black populus than the other and has a higher percentage of 'black led crime' (i'e the suspect/s is/are black).  Now it doesn't take a great deal of arithmatic ability, to see what view will be placed upon one part of the Met in comparison with another part of the same force, when making the obviouis race allegations.  

Now lets take it a little wider, how would the overall figures of the largest Police Force in the country (@28,000 officers) with lets say.......North Yorkshire (@2,500 officers).  The percentage of ethnic minorities in both areas are also at opposing ends of the spectrum.   The figures produced as to percentage of blacks arrested/stopped & seacrhed etc, will show an even greater divide (you never get to see the whole picture though)

The Met are damned if they do and damned if they don't.  

When their senior officers are forced into politics and away from their role as law enforcement officers, the whole thing starts to collapse.  The Senior Officers of the Met are now more worried about their own careers than ever.  It's a phenominum not that foreign to the Army, but not one which the Army has seen up right up close and personal yet.  

Even when one of the Met's most senior Officers stood up a couple of years ago in response to the 'racist allegations' made against his Force and produced evidence that the high percentage of blacks who were subjected to 'stop and search' by his officers, was due to the 'evidence' clearly stating that the suspects had fitted the descriptions given by the wasn't enough?   I'm lost for words on this one......anybody suggest why that was perhaps?

No person in their right mind condones the murder of anyone.  I feel sorry for the Lawrences, but I'm getting fed up now hearing their sons name being used as a tool to constantly beat into shape something which will never fit in the eyes of rational men and women.  Their son was murdered.  Whether he was black or white,  it should never have happened, but to accuse a Police Force of applying less effort into an investigation because the victim was black I find galling.   Not in this country.  Other's maybe, but not here.  And I'm not wearing any blinkers.      

How many Met Officers were sacked for incompetance on the back of that enquiry?   How many were tried in court as 'racists'.......that was the accusation wasn't it?

The Lawrences need to move on with their lives.   They are currently being used themselves as tools to achieve the goals of others.

No, I'm not a copper...............who would want to be when you're judged so harshly for doing your job.

And no...........I'm not racist. But I do feel the overwhelming need to retract that last comment as I don't see why I should make this qualification (it's more than probably because I'm scared that's what you'll think of me)
In order for a crime to be considered a "race crime", and victim from an ethnic minority only has to perceive it to be such for it to be considered racially motivated. The police and courts are then required to treat the perpetrator more harshly because in effect they have committed 2 crimes, the initial offence that brought the charge as well as a racially motivated action.

Consider: you are white. A black man stops you in the street and begins to harass you. You attempt to move out of the way and he blocks you. You push him, a scuffle ensues, and the police attend. The other man can have you arrested for common assualt. As he belongs to an ethnic minority the arresting officer has to ask if the man considers the attack to be racially motivated. He says yes (irrespective of the motive), and the balance of law requires you to prove your innocence in respect to the charge of racial motivation, not for the prosecution to prove your guilt. You are found guilty and your punishment is harsher (under current sentencing guidelines) because the crime is racially aggrovated.

The same incident between 2 white men and the same conviction would result in a much leaner sentence than the above described circumstances.

This is as a direct consequence of the Macpherson report.

Where I an officer in the Met I would write to the Chief Constable and demand he retract his statements on "Institutional Racism" because I would decline to have someone speak out and admit something in my name which I am not guilty of, and assume my guilt irrespective of my true views. He has, on behalf of his men, acted as judge, jury, and executioner without any due process of fair tribunal on behalf of each and every officer in the Met. Further, he has stigmatised a number of decent, honest, and upstanding officers and in principle he has allowed his men to be tainted unfairly without any regard for individual status. I am sure this breaches some Human Rights Act principle somewhere.

Sadly, the Macpherson report has done more to set back race relations in this country than any other single act. It is no wonder that the BNP and other far-right groups are making such progress politically when no other party has the courage to speak out against prevailing liberalism for fear of being branded "racists" for asking the right and relevant questions.

I would advise you all to go out and read "To hell in a handcart" by Richard Littlejohn. It summarises the current state of political affairs perfectly, and the satire is so close to the truth as to be utterly believable.


the buzz word over here in us is hate crime-3 trailer trash cracker white boys dragged a black guy to his death a few years ago then governor of texas george w bush rightfully had them sentenced to death however in the presidential debates al gore claimed that george w had not done enough because he hadnt declared it a hate crime!!!!!!!!!![incidentally gore would have declared it a hate crime and given them 6 months in a work house another fine example of ridiculous pc


Whilst the death of this man was a heinous crime, the time, money and resources spent on it, when compared to other unsolved murders is a disgrace.

The words "race crime" are too freely banded about, to make a political statement at the expense of the victim and the victims family.  

Surely all citizens should be treated equally and victims of any crime should be given equal attention?

Are they saying that a black mans life is worth more than anyone else’s because he was murdered by white people? (if he indeed was).

Or are all murder victims lives worth the same?

I am not saying that what was done deserves any less attention than any other murder. However, neither does it deserve any more.

Neither does it deserve the media attention in favour of other murders. This was not proven to be a race crime, it was speculated, hyped by TV, but never proven. PC crap that sells papers and attracts viewers


This remains more about crucifying the police-remember the scene in 1984 where the prisoner begs to know what he done so he can confess
An interesting topic this and obviously one which provokes debate. I heartily agree (as a serving police officer) with everything thats been said. I' d like to add to the comments made about "stop and search" something which is conveniently ignored whenever a spot of Police bashing is going on.
When a "stop and search" is carried out the officer has to inform the subject of the following:

a) Grounds for search. i.e "A burglary has just occurred nearby and you fit the description".

b)Object of search, i.s "To look for stolen property or items used in commision of crime"

c) He must then either produce his Warrant card or ID himself by name and Station. A form is then completed detailing all of the above and a copy of which the can be obtained by the subject at any time during the next twelve months.

My point here is that all this is hardly conducive to bobbies simply stopping people (Black or otherwise ) just for the sake of it!. Simply put, if people re being stopped by the police then there is a good reason for it.
I would like to hear the perspective of someone who is black on this subject - is there anyone out there who would be willing to comment?

I agree with Ma (this is becoming an uncomfortably common experience.......... ;) ;D), I wouldn't like to be a copper (although interestingly, a career aptitude test I did at school was nearly off the scale in it's recommendation that the Police was the best career for me - I didn't consider it because I couldn't stand the sexism that was - maybe still is - rampant - bad enough dealing with morons on the street without having to work with them as well).

My point here is that all this is hardly conducive to bobbies simply stopping people (Black or otherwise ) just for the sake of it!. Simply put, if people re being stopped by the police then there is a good reason for it.

Jaeger, I accept your point without reservation. But do you acknowledge that the racist behaviour of some officers in the past has left a long shadow on race relations with the Police and the black communities they serve?
I'm wary of commenting in detail on previous Police behaviour for two reasons, the main one being that I've not been a copper for all that long and have so far failed to witness  any evidence of sexism  in my particular force. Furthermore my force area does not really have any significant black or asian communities though we now have a large nimber of asylum seekers from the Balkans who pose particular problems (sorry, "challenges") for law enforcement. What I do know is this, the people I work with seem to be without exception decent men and women who try to enforce the law without fear or favour and I doubt very much if officers in forces where there are large ethnic  minority communities are any different. I'm not saying that errors are not made or that occasionally an officer will disgrace the uniform by his/her actions, we're only human after all and subject to all the usual foibles and temptations. Unfortunately when something does occur and an officer or officers are called to account it seems that the media and  Public are immediately prepared think the worst and rarely give the benefit of the doubt to the accused,ie the officers. Your comments regarding sexism would seem to put you in that category, how can you make such a sweeping generalisation about an organisation of 130,000+ officers in 43 separate forces when you have no first hand experience? I think you're  relying too much on the tabloids  for your information. Finally, we must accept that there are major problems with certain types of crime within the Black community in London , the figures are there and are indisputable. This is not to say that being black means you have a genetic predisposition to crime. It does seem however that a certain culture has grown up within the young of that community which finds crime of that nature natural and acceptable .This then brings them into contact with the police and you can work out the rest for yourself. For an alternative view of the McPherson Report I suggest you read "A Brief History of Crime" by Peter Hitchens Much of what he says will be considered heresy by the chattering classes and the media, for whom "McPherson" is set in stone as the last word on all that is wrong with the Policing in this country Sadly there are too many senior officers within the Police who also accept it uncritically. To do otherwise  would mean raising ones head above the parapet and confronting the whole issue of so-called racism and no career can ever survive that!!
Thank you for your considered reply. When I did the aptitude test it was around the same time as the TV documentary on the Thames Police - do you remember it? It was at the end of the 70s, start of the 80s (now you know why MDN keeps calling me an old trout.... ;D)

There were many reports in the media about sexual harrassment, sexism, so on and so forth. Yes, you can rightly accuse me on getting my info from just the media, but as a 19 year old considering different careers, that had some impact on me. In fairness Jaeger, I also didn't join because I wasn't sure I could handle all the doom and gloom that police come across.....I'm not sure I could have stayed emotionally detached enough, which would have affected my competence, I think.

However, I have had a fair number of dealings with policemen over the years. I went out with someone whilst he went through his 4 months at......Warrington, was it? He certainly became incredibly sexist and chauvinist as time went on, passed on comments to me from his instructors and fellow students about me being at RMAS and having a career that were blatantly sexist. I also have had professional dealings with them through my work. I also know/have known a fair few socially.

My professional dealings with them were all OK though! They were fine to deal with, never had any 'sexist' experiences with them.

Perhaps, like many institutions, the culture has changed in the last 20 years. Perhaps, as well, the  assumption that the Police are racist will gradually change as well. For example, the investigation into the shootings of the girls in Birmingham has highlighted the culture of crime in the young black community you mentioned. Do you think that might show other black communities that the police are there to help them, not harm them?
I'd noticed!!! ;D

I have just done the Sarsen Trail (26 miles - nothing, I know, to you heroes out there) and I'm hurting mucho, off to a hot bath and a cold glass of wine.......hey Ma, you could rub my aching feet....... ;D ;D


Book Reviewer
Yesterday was the 10th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence's murder. No one has yet been brought to justice for the killing.

May I ask, why does everyone refer to this as a "racially motivated murder".
Because it was.
Edited to add....Flash to bang of fifteen years, a new record?

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