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4. The Legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry: Race and Policing Today
About this Lecture
In this lecture, we think about the legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry, and the situation today regarding race and policing, focusing in particular on: (i) the creation of racially and religiously aggravated crime as a distinct type of offence in the Crime and Disorder Act (1998), and the duty upon courts to impose harsher sentences for these offences in the Criminal Justice Act (2003); (ii) changes to policing, such as greater training regarding issues of race; (iii) the backlash against this “politically correct” policing in the early 2000s; (iv) some continuing issues in race and policing, such as the hugely disproportionate use of stop and search powers against black people.
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 lecture, 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 lecture, we look at police malpractice during the investigation into Stephen’s murder and the Lawrence family’s fight for justice. Next, we explore 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 and final lecture, 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 Legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry: Race and Policing Today [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-stephen-lawrence-case/the-legacies-of-the-lawrence-inquiry-race-and-policing-today
Gunter, A. "The Stephen Lawrence Case – The Legacies of the Lawrence Inquiry: Race and Policing Today." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Oct 2021, https://www.massolit.io/courses/the-stephen-lawrence-case/the-legacies-of-the-lawrence-inquiry-race-and-policing-today