Socialist Worker

Britain's police are still rotten to the core

Issue No. 2350

The racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence opened up the institutional racism at the heart of Britain’s police 20 years ago.

Two damning pieces of evidence this week revealed that little has changed inside the police force. 

A report commissioned by the Guardian showed that over the past ten years, the rate of stop and search of black and Asian people in Britain has rocketed by 120 percent.

If the same rate was reflected for the white population, then police would have made 40 million more stops in the same period. 

The Macpherson report into police racism was set up to examine the investigations into Stephen’s murder. 

It reported in 1999 and coined the term “institutional racism” to describe the endemic prejudice at the heart of the police. 

This was also a way to avoid the issue of actual racist officers in the police.

This week the Metropolitan Police’s Black Police Association announced that the police are still institutionally racist. Just 5 percent of top posts are held by ethnic minorities.

The police exist to protect the ruling class. Their role means the force embodies all the ideas that flow from that class—such as racism, sexism and homophobia.

 Police racism will exist as long as we have the police.

We need to fight for a world that isn’t based on class division and the racism that goes with it.

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