PCC shows support for Stephen Lawrence Day
Last year the Prime Minister announced a national day (22nd April) to commemorate the death of Stephen Lawrence. This day will be used to reflect on Stephen’s life, death and the huge changes in policing and culture for which his murder was the catalyst. Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne is committed to stamping out racial abuse and hate crime of any kind. The PCC recognises the importance of engaging with all communities so, ahead of this day, her office met with the Racial Harassment Forum in Brighton to listen to their concerns.
Mrs Bourne commented on the outcome of the meeting:
“No one deserves to be targeted because of who they are, including their race, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation or disability and it will not be tolerated. The racially provoked murder of Stephen Lawrence resonated with all police forces and spearheaded a national campaign to improve training and the investigation of all hate crime. It is heartening at this time of reflection, to hear the recognition of how far the Force have come and welcome recommendations for further improvement.
“The rich diversity of our communities here in Sussex is one of our greatest strengths and the police have done some fantastic work both internally and externally with the public to promote diversity and inclusivity.
“The injection of 100 extra Police Community Support Officers into neighbourhood policing, made possible through the rise in this year's precept, is a welcome addition to the Force for these communities.
“I know that the Chief Constable and senior officers are committed to ensuring that all reports of this type will be taken seriously and urge anyone who has been a victim of hate crime to come forward.”
The Racial Harassment Forum said:
“Visible policing in terms of the BAME community is so important; people and communities behave and moderate their attitudes when they see uniforms patrolling. Extra officers, who receive this training, will build the trust that our communities have in the police which will then lead to more BAME recruits."
Force Diversity Manager Dermot Torney said:
"The Police provide a service for everyone in our communities, and to operate effectively we need to ensure that all people have trust and confidence in us and continue to report in the knowledge that they will be taken seriously. We are committed to ensuring that Sussex Police represents the community it serves, and we are always open to proposals about how we can engage better with all communities, recognising there is always more work to do.”