Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 29th March 1999.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:13 pm, 29th March 1999

I cannot give the precise guarantee that my hon. Friend seeks, particularly in the case of Ricky Reel. I know that he has been very concerned about that case, as I have. He and I have had many discussions, and I have met Ricky Reel's family. We are seeking to ensure that Police Complaints Authority investigation reports can be published, provided that it is safe to do so. As my hon. Friend will be aware, sometimes it may not be safe to do so if it would prejudice a successful prosecution or compromise other investigations. Subject to that, we want as much openness as possible.

Effective race equality training is another crucial issue that we have to deal with if the police are to be equipped to operate fairly and effectively in today's society. I agree with the inquiry that all police staff, including CID and support staff, need such training. Ethnic minorities themselves must be involved in the development and delivery of the training.