Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:49 pm on 29th March 1999.

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Photo of Mr Norman Fowler Mr Norman Fowler Shadow Secretary of State 5:49 pm, 29th March 1999

Oh, it was the hon. Member for Hackney, North and Stoke Newington. In that case, I am amazed. In all seriousness, we should avoid imposing obligations on the police that we are not prepared to accept ourselves.

Another proposal that has general application and commands agreement on both sides of the House concerns victims of crime. Macpherson criticises the police for dealing with the Lawrence family in a patronising manner. I can think of few things more hurtful than that and I hope that the wider use of family liaison officers will help to address that problem. However, the principle goes far wider, because, even now, we do not look after the victims of crime well enough. We appear to believe that, after a certain period, people automatically come to terms with their loss, but that is not necessarily true; as I learned at the initial meeting of Victims Voice last year, the loss continues and we should do more generally to help crime victims.