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'Thieves and robbers' approach to black people undermining investigations — Neville Lawrence

Father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence blames police handling for unsolved crimes

The father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence warned yesterday that police were undermining their chance of solving crimes by treating black people as “thieves and robbers.”

Speaking at a fringe meeting at the Association of Teachers and Lecturers conference in Manchester, Neville Lawrence said the stereotyping backfires when investigators need help.

He said: “I think something which I’ve tried to explain to them, but they’re still not listening, is you can’t say to a group of people in a community ‘you’re all thieves and robbers’ and then when there’s a situation and they go in there for information, the first thing they’re going to tell you is ‘I’m a thief, I’m a robber, why are you asking?’

“When they put on a uniform they are representing the law. They are not the law.

“When they go out and abuse the young blacks and the young whites on the street, that message goes back to the rest of the community.”

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