Comment

Institutionalised racism and human rights abuses

A special investigation into 45 deaths in Europe in 1998. Human rights abuses, we are told, occur in the Third World – certainly not in democratic Europe. But the 45 deaths we document here throw into question Europe’s respect for human rights. For the treatment of immigrants, asylum-seekers and ethnic minorities is the benchmark by

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Comment

Evidence submitted for Part 2 of the Lawrence Inquiry

Institute of Race Relations Evidence submitted for Part 2 of the Inquiry into Matters Arising from the Death of Stephen Lawrence The Context IRR believes that it is essential to place the events surrounding the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the subsequent police investigation in the context of organised racial violence and relations between the

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Comment

Europe, the Press And Crime

Across Europe, thanks to press reporting, ‘criminal’, ‘immigrant’, ‘Roma’ are becoming interchangeable. In focusing on immigrant crime, the press reflects the priorities of police and politicians who are the main sources for such stories. Police crime statistics The raw material for immigrant crime stories are police reports, particularly the release of selective and ethnically-based crime

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Comment

Public accountability not public relations

For more than two decades, anti-racists have struggled to put the issue of institutional racism on the agenda. In the period from the Scarman inquiry of the early 1980s through to the last few months, the accepted wisdom was that police racism existed but it was a case of ‘a few rotten apples’. To root

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Comment

What is institutional racism?

Institutional racism is that which, covertly or overtly, resides in the policies, procedures, operations and culture of public or private institutions – reinforcing individual prejudices and being reinforced by them in turn. Why do we need to distinguish institutional racism from individual racism? The problem is that individual racial attitudes and stereotyping have often been

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Comment

Terror Act: A Charter For Repression

In November 1997, Scotland Yard’s anti-terrorism unit staged simultaneous raids on the Kurdistan Workers Association in Haringey and the Halkevi Turkish and Kurdish Community Centre in Stoke Newington. Police spent seven hours at the KWA photographing and searching each room seizing the centre’s financial records, bank statements, chequebooks, grant application information, training records, National Lottery

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Comment

The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

The public inquiry into the official handling of the 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence opened in March. Police were accused of incompetence, insensitivity and racism in their response to the stabbing and to Stephen’s parents and the survivor of the attack, Duwayne Brooks. Below is a summary of the main points to emerge by the

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Comment

Robbery isn’t colour-blind

Muhammed Rafique Khan was knifed through the heart on 6 January outside his menswear shop in Plumstead High Street, south-east London. It was 10 minutes till closing when a 30-year-old white man ran into the shop. What happened inside is not exactly known. But witnesses at a nearby bus stop heard an altercation and saw

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Comment

Prisoner left hanging

The vexed question of the privatisation of the British prison service has again come to the fore following the death of Peter Austin at Brentford magistrates’ court on 29 January. Disturbing evidence emerged at the inquest held in July, where the verdict was accidental death aggravated by lack of care by the guards. Securicor staff

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Comment

Law, order and the politics of convergence

On the street Police stop and search powers have been described by a senior policeman as ‘a contact sport for officers’. They have featured centrally in complaints of police racism. It was a vast stop and search operation, Operation Swamp ’81, which sparked the Brixton uprising of that year. Even the City of London ‘ring

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