Reflecting on the legacy of Stephen Lawrence
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Our officers and staff were privileged to welcome Stuart Lawrence, the brother of Stephen Lawrence, to reflect on his brother’s legacy and our commitment to protecting and serving all of our communities here in Essex.
Today (Thursday 22 April) is Stephen Lawrence Day, which is held annually on the anniversary of the 18-year-old’s brutal murder to celebrate his life and legacy.
It is also a day for everyone to reflect on how we all play an important part in creating a society in which everyone can flourish.
Stuart Lawrence was the guest speaker at a virtual conference held yesterday (Wednesday 21 April), attended by 194 police officers, staff, volunteers, and members of our local communities.
He spoke about his personal experiences, how he has used his experience to create positive change and his work with young people to do the same.
Stuart also answered questions from attendees about what he feels has changed for the better, how we can all stamp out racism and prejudice, and how communities and the police can work together to do this.
Essex Police is committed to protecting and serving all our communities and working with them to tackle issues of inequality, racism, and other prejudices.
We are also committed to ensuring our workforce reflects the diversity of the communities we serve.
We are especially pleased to see even more men and women from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds are applying to join Essex Police.
Between September 2020 and March 2021, we received 257 applications from candidates who described themselves as being from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, and 171 applications from candidates who described themselves as being from white – other backgrounds (which includes those from central and eastern European or Irish backgrounds).
This totalled 24 per cent of the 1,788 applications we received overall during this period.
We also received 637 applications from women, equivalent to 36 per cent of the overall applications received.
Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said: “In Essex, we police with consent and with impartiality.
“Stephen Lawrence Day is a day to acknowledge the mistakes of the past and to do even more to deliver a fair and inclusive service everyone in Essex, regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.
“We were privileged to hear from Stuart Lawrence, just as we heard from his father Neville Lawrence who kindly addressed our force in 2017, and thank him for taking the time to be with us at such an important time for him and his family.
“Today is not only a time to listen and to understand. It is also a time to act.
“Racism and prejudice has no place in either Essex or Essex Police, and we are not just committed to being a non-racist force, but anti-racist.”