This item was published during the term of a previous administration that ended in April 2007
Stephen Lawrence Action Plan One Year On
Deputy Minister for Justice Angus MacKay today marked the first anniversary of the Scottish Executive's action plan to implement the Macpherson report into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.
Mr MacKay said:
"Today is the first anniversary of our action plan to implement the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report in Scotland. This is therefore a suitable moment to reflect on the progress we have made and on the work that remains to be done.
"A year on from the publication of our action plan there have been a number of developments in taking forward the recommendations. The most significant of these has been setting up our Steering Group to oversee and audit implementation of the plan in Scotland.
"The Steering Group provides independent scrutiny of the work that is being carried to ensure that it is effective and to provide confidence in its results to the ethnic minority communities. It is now working at revising the action plan in the light of the responses to the original documents and it is also planning to meet some of those who responded.
"It has examined a wide range of issues raised by the Lawrence Inquiry Report and its views already inform the work that the Association of Police Officers in Scotland (ACPOS) are doing. In addition, as a result of the Group's discussions, we have commissioned research into issues surrounding race and the use of stop and search powers by the Scottish police, which will be carried out later this year.
"Over the last year ACPOS, the Crown Office, the Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Steering Group have all put in a lot of work and shown the very real commitment that exists to tackle racism in Scotland.
"We said a year ago in the introduction to the action plan that it could only be the start of a process to implement the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and address race equality in Scotland. Success would not be achieved overnight. Much remains to be done but I believe that we have made progress in the last year. We remain committed to continuing that work in the months and years ahead."
Initiatives stemming from the Action Plan include:
- the ACPOS Racial Diversity Strategy, published in March. This strategy is an important indicator of the full commitment of the Scottish Police Service to fight against racism. ACPOS will soon publish a Guidance Manual to give practical advice to forces in taking forward the strategy;
- the Crown Office has issued guidance to procurators fiscal on the prosecution of racist crimes, which will be kept under review in liaison with the Commission for Racial Equality, local race equality groups and the Stephen Lawrence Steering Group;
- the Crown Office is enhancing its anti-racism training by ensuring that a programme of anti-racism training forms part of induction training for new staff and mainstream training of all staff;
- a high level Crown Office group is being chaired by the Solicitor General to take forward the commitment to improve recruitment of ethnic minority staff;
- the Crown Office's strategic plan identifies racially motivated crime as one of the four areas of serious crime on which the department intends to focus;
- a Race Equality Advisory Forum has been established, in recognition that racial equality issues go beyond police and criminal justice system into wider society. The Forum is advising on the ?non-justice? recommendations in the Action Plan;
- Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) has inspected the police complaints system in Scotland. The report from that inspection - A Fair Cop? - will provide important background to the consultation paper on police complaints the Executive intends to publish later this year; and
- HMIC is currently examining how the police work with ethnic minority communities in Scotland.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. The Macpherson Report on the murder of Stephen Lawrence was published on 24 February 1999. It is available at: http://www.official-documents.co.uk/document/cm42/4262/4262.htm
2. The Scottish Executive published an action plan for Scotland on 20 July 1999. It is available at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/library2/doc01/sli-00.htm
3. The Scottish Executive has set up a Steering Group to oversee implementation of the action plan. The Steering Group first met on 7 February 2000, and has now met four times. Its next meeting is on 1 August 2000. Details of the members are at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/news/1999/12/se1779.asp
4. The Strategic Plan 2000-2003 of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service was published on 13 June 2000. It is available at: http://www.crownoffice.gov.uk
5. Further inquiries re the Crown Office should be directed to Howard Hart, Press Officer, 0131 247 2701.
News Release: SE073A/2000
20 Jul 2000