Baroness Lawrence: No change until police accept their racism
30 years after my Stephen’s murder, the Met is still rotten to the core: Baroness Lawrence insists nothing will change until police accept they are institutionally racist
- Baroness Lawrence warned Met Police are at their ‘last chance to get it right’
- Comes after a report found that the Met is racist, misogynist and homophobic
- Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley under pressure to accept the outcome of report
Scotland Yard is still ‘rotten to the core’ 30 years after Stephen Lawrence’s murder and nothing will change until police accept they are institutionally racist, his mother said yesterday.
Baroness Lawrence, whose 18-year-old son was killed by racist white thugs in 1993, warned ‘this is the last chance for the Metropolitan Police to get it right’, after an independent report found it is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley came under pressure yesterday to fully accept the verdict as victims’ families, campaigners and MPs said reform was ‘doomed to failure’ if the Met did not acknowledge the scale of the problem in what was dubbed a ‘rats’ nest’.
Britain’s most senior police officer said he could not guarantee there were not more predatory officers, such as Sarah Everard’s killer Wayne Couzens or serial rapist David Carrick, still in the ranks. He rejected any label of institutional wrongdoing as ‘politicised’.
Rishi Sunak yesterday refused to say whether his daughters Krishna, 11, and Anoushka, nine, could trust the police.
Baroness Lawrence (pictured) whose 18-year-old son was killed by racist white thugs in 1993, warned ‘this is the last chance for the Metropolitan Police to get it right’
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley came under pressure yesterday to fully accept the verdict as victims’ families, campaigners and MPs said reform was ‘doomed to failure’ if the Met did not acknowledge the scale of the problem in what was dubbed a ‘rats’ nest’
READ MORE: Shattering 363-page dossier reveals how rape samples were stored next to a lunchbox in the fridge, sex toys were slipped into coffee mugs and racist officers left bacon in a Muslim colleague’s boots
Baroness Casey pictured arriving at Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre yesterday for the press briefing of her review into the standards of behaviour and internal culture of the Metropolitan Police Service
‘We need the answer to that question to be yes,’ the Prime Minister told BBC Breakfast.
When pressed if the answer was yes, Mr Sunak said: ‘Clearly at the moment trust in the police has been hugely damaged by the things we discovered over the past year.’
Baroness Casey’s review, commissioned after Ms Everard’s killing in 2021, echoed findings of the 1999 Macpherson inquiry into Stephen’s murder in south-east London – that the Met was riven with racism.
Stephen’s mother Doreen said: ‘My suspicion that racism played a critical part in the failure of the Metropolitan Police to properly investigate my son’s death in 1993 was borne out by the Macpherson report.
‘Since then, despite repeated reassurances that the Metropolitan Police had learned lessons from its failures, discrimination in every form is clearly rampant in its ranks.’
She added: ‘It is not, and has never been, a case of a few “bad apples” within the Metropolitan Police. It is rotten to the core.
‘Any reluctance or refusal to accept that institutional racism exists within the police service will mean that any attempt at change is doomed to failure and the police, yet again, will be letting down our communities.’
A Centre for Women’s Justice spokesman said a ‘rats’ nest’ of misogyny had been exposed in the UK’s largest force.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman faced calls to abolish the force, but backed Sir Mark’s response that the Met needs a ‘new beginning’ not a rebrand. She defended the Met’s decision not to use the phrase ‘institutional racism’, telling MPs it was a ‘politically charged term’.
Sir Mark, despite rejecting this label, told Sky News: ‘I absolutely accept the diagnosis that Louise Casey comes up with.
Stephen Lawrence (pictured) was just 18 when he was killed by racist white thugs 30 years ago
‘We have systemic failings, management failings and cultural failings.’
Baroness Casey’s review also concluded the Met has failed to protect the public from officers who abuse women, and investigative failures and organisational changes have put women and children at greater risk.
It identified failings across nearly all departments.
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