Stephen Lawrence Day

21st April 2023

Today we marked Stephen Lawrence Day, an annual event which commemorates Stephen’s brutal death on April 22, 1993.

This is an important day for policing. The way Stephen’s case was handled by the police back then was appalling and the Macpherson Report which followed uncovered a network of corruption that led to major changes in policing throughout the UK.

It was a catalyst that brought to light the wider institutionalised racism, sexism and homophobia throughout our public services. We have come a long way since then but, sadly, we still have much to do.

Policing is again under the spotlight. Pockets of inappropriate workplace cultures, attitudes and unacceptable behaviours still exist. We are not immune from that here in Gwent and these issues are rightly being tackled as a priority.

Injustice remains in our society and public services have a duty to commit to real and sustainable change.

We must rebuild trust with our communities and reassure them that anyone dealing with the police will be treated equally, fairly and with respect. We must make it clear that hate, in any form, will not be tolerated here.

To do this, we need everyone to call out intolerance and hatred wherever they see it. We need everyone to make a stand. We must never be complacent.

We have committed to creating an anti-racist criminal justice system in Wales, and work more closely with our Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities than ever before.

I am confident that, together with Chief Constable Kelly and her team at Gwent Police, and our wider criminal justice partners, we are driving a culture change that puts the voices of our communities at the heart of our processes, our policies and our decision making.

We will continue to work to ensure that all of our residents, and our employees, feel confident that their police force will treat them fairly, and that they are able to live their lives free from discrimination or hatred.

We must remember that we are better together, and that by learning the lessons of the past, we will create a better future.