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Voice Poll on British race relations since Stephen Lawrence

VERDICT: 'Majority of black people do not believe that race relations in Britain have changed'

POLL FIGURES from the Voice newspaper show that a huge majority of black people do not believe that race relations in Britain have changed since the murder of Stephen Lawrence almost 19 years ago.

An online survey conducted by Britain's only black weekly revealed that 83 per cent of those who took part in the survey thought things had not got better.

Only 17 per cent of participants said race relations had improved since the stabbing to death of the teenager by a gang of racists in south east London.

It was a surprising result in the wake of the groundbreaking Macpherson inquiry into the Lawrence murder that was hailed as a milestone when it published a report in 1999.

The Macpherson report brought about big changes in the way the police handle racist crimes and deal with the black community. But critics say that the disproportionate number of black people - mainly young men - still stopped and searched by police and deaths in custody are stark examples of how things have not changed.

The Voice’s editor George Ruddock said: "The results of our poll reflect a deep dissatisfaction among black people about the way race relations in Britain have failed to progress. Stephen's brutal murder by racist thugs was a wake up call for the whole of the nation - black and white - and for a time the authorities took its lessons to heart. But it is clear that the momentum of change needs to be stepped up if we are not to see more inner city disturbances of the type that happened in the summer."

He added: "Our newspaper, which is proud to be 'The Voice of Black Britain', will continue to champion the cause of black people, fight injustice, highlight success stories and promote race equality.”

See exclusive 6 page report in The Voice this Thursday.

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