Father speaks out on 30th anniversary of murder as new research shows continuing stop and search inequality
Well, the simple answer is yes, the Met police did surrender to the killers of his, son Stephen Lawrence and they completely let down Stephen, his father Neville Lawrence and his mother Doreen Lawrence and the rest of the family.
But, it was not just the met police who let them down but also the CPS, in fact the whole justice system of the UK.
Were any individual officers of the Met guilty, well maybe, but the real guilt is on the UK Justice system.
This happened, yes, 30 years ago, not today or yesterday, but 30 years ago and could well, to some extent happen again tomorrow, for even though much time has elapsed the system of today, while, maybe improved, has not improved sufficiently, for there is still a long way to go.
This is required from a much improved system, so much more improved working practices, and so very much more of individual and corporate attitudes.
For in this it was not just an inefficient and noneffective system, but a great deal of racism, much of which is still alive today.
Why do I say racism, well if this had been the other way round and a group of black lads had killed a white boy, ‘no stone would have been left unturned’, as that would have been seen at that time as being more important than the killing of Stephen Lawrence.
Since then all police forces have been slimed down in the interests of saving money through austerity cuts, so money was and too some extent is more important than law and order and justice. We see this in many other areas the NHS, social care, education, public health and many, many others.
I am so glad I was born in the UK, but that does not mean I agree with everything that happens in the UK, far from it, but there are ways and means to object and perhaps there should be many more ways, especially to counter government, for in reality we only have a General Election and then, mainly only every 5 years. They produce their mandate, but do they really produce them and believe they will abide by them, for they rarely do if ever. If they don’t we effectively have to wait 5 more years to officially raise our objections and then the process starts again. What is required is real immediate accountability for the government should be there for every one of us and certainly not for themselves and a certain few, but it appears it is the latter which is true no matter what the colour of the government is.
In my 74 years of life, all in the UK and really just in Sheffield, I have not been aware of any really listening government and doubt I ever will.
But back to Stephen, the attitudes need to change and so does the system, but it is so much deeper than the Met police, The Police in general, but the systems in all aspects of the UK.
The systems are so inflexible and stay no matter how ineffectually or inefficient they are, systems should all be flexible, more accountable.
A way could be, not just for government, large organisations, but any organisation to involve others outside of the organisations, their customers instead of a better description, those who will have to rely on the organisation, so a larger consensus of views are obtained and this involvement should be from the very beginning and to the full conclusion and beyond, in other words Co-production.
So to bring this back to the Lawrence family, the Met Police can’t and won’t engage change on their own, so the Met Police, and many other organisations need to engage in true co-production and ensure change for the better for everyone occurs.
Source: Neville Lawrence says Met police surrendered to son’s killers | Stephen Lawrence | The Guardian