Met Police tainted by past and needs outsider to lead force, says Stephen Lawrence's brother
The Met needs to be led by an outsider who can look at the force and assess where change is needed, Stuart Lawrence tells Charlene White
The brother of Stephen Lawrence has told ITV News an outsider needs to come in to lead the Met Police to bring meaningful change.
Speaking just days before Dame Cressida Dick leaves her role as commissioner, Stuart Lawrence said the Metropolitan Police is too tainted by its past.
He and his family had to fight tirelessly for any type of justice after Stephen was murdered by a racist gang in south London in 1993.
Now the Met says a lot has changed since then – but Stuart, now an author and educator, believes there is still a lot more to do.
“I think it’s got to take someone that can have this helicopter approach, to look at things and go ‘do you know what, we’re going to make some relevant changes’,” he told ITV News.
Stephen's death led to an inquiry, the result of which – the 1999 Macpherson report – concluded the Metropolitan Police was institutionally racist.
It took 18 years for the family to secure convictions for the murder.
In January 2012, Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of murder at the end of a six-week trial.
Despite only two convictions, a group of up to six thugs is alleged to have attacked the teenager and his friend Duwayne Brooks.
The campaign for justice has continued so that everyone responsible is taken to trial and sentenced.
“It [justice] is only partly done isn’t it? We never get the point where you go... you can close that,” Mr Lawrence said.
“There are more unanswered questions, there’s more, like, well why? Which, if you allow yourself to fester and to go in that direction... again that’s part of your life taken up doing something.”
He recalled how he went into the school the day after his brother was killed and that he had got the names of the suspects and came home to pass it onto his parents, who then informed the police.
They discovered in 2011 that someone had called the police to give the names and another had gone into the police station.
“That was 30 years go and that was the current mood of the general public of wanting to see wrong things righted, but then you’ve got a system that’s been put in place to always be unbalanced,” he said.
Mr Lawrence now places huge importance on education and says schools are a place where children need to be taught about the world and how they can make it a better place.
“I do believe that school is a balance, it’s good to go in there and tell and impart knowledge,” he said, as someone who visits schools to give talks.
“It needs to be an environment where they can develop and learn and understand what the world’s about and how they fit in and how they can make changes and make the world a better place.”