Race Relations Acts 1965 - 2000

Below are the Race Relations Acts 1965 - 2000.

Back to the week 2 - Race Equality in the UK page.

The Murder of Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson Report

Twelve years after the Scarman report, the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, in 1993, and the subsequent investigation, or lack of one, reignited the  discussion around race and policing.

In the initial investigation, five suspects were arrested and released without charge.

It was soon evident that the handling of the case by the police and the Crown Prosecution Service was affected by race.

In 1999 the 350 page Macpherson Report was published and concluded the investigation had been “marred by a combination of professional incompetence, institutional racism and a failure of leadership”.

A total of 70 recommendations designed to show “zero tolerance” for racism in society were made.

They included measures to transform the attitudes of the police and also improve accountability in the civil service, NHS, judiciary and other public bodies.

One of the biggest changes in the report was the abolition of the “double jeopardy” rule, which stated someone cannot be tried for the crime twice. This eventually led to the retrial and successful conviction of Gary Dobson and David Norris for Lawrence’s murder.

Page updated: 09/10/2020 Page updated by: Gloucestershire County Council

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