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1. The Historical Context: Race and Policing 1945-90
About this Lecture
In this module, we think about race and policing since the Second World War, and especially the idea that BAME communities are “overpoliced and underprotected”. We focus particularly on: (i) the impact of immigration policy on policing, including the death of Joy Gardner during a police raid on her home in 1993; (ii) the disproportionate use of stop and search powers on black communities and the tensions this has caused since the 1970s; (iii) police failures to protect BAME communities from racist violence, from the 1958 race riots to the New Cross fire of 1981.
In this course, Dr Anthony Gunter (The Open University) discusses the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence in a racist attack in London on 22 April 1993, and why the case is considered a watershed moment in the history of race relations in Britain. In the first module, we set the context by exploring issues around race and policing since 1945, and especially the notion that BAME communities are “overpoliced and underprotected”. In the second, we look at police malpractice during the investigation into Stephen’s murder and the Lawrence family’s fight for justice. The third module explores the Lawrence Inquiry, commissioned in 1997, its recommendations, and its hugely important finding that the investigation into Stephen’s murder was marred by “institutional racism”. In the fourth module, we consider the legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry, including changes to the law and police practices, before tempering this by noting some persistent problems in the policing of BAME communities.
Dr Anthony Gunter is Senior Lecturer and Programme Lead for Childhood and Youth Studies at the Open University. His research focuses on black youth subcultures and the policing of BAME communities. He is author of Race, Gangs and Youth Violence: Policy, Prevention and Policing (2017) and Growing Up Bad? Black Youth, ‘Road’ Culture and Badness in an East London Neighbourhood (2010).
Cite this Lecture
Gunter, A. (2021, October 26). The Stephen Lawrence Case - The Historical Context: Race and Policing 1945-90 [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-stephen-lawrence-case/the-historical-context-race-and-policing-1945-90
Gunter, Anthony. "The Stephen Lawrence Case – The Historical Context: Race and Policing 1945-90." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Oct 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-stephen-lawrence-case/the-historical-context-race-and-policing-1945-90