• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Following the publication of the Macpherson Report, the police service has been accused of being 'institutionally racist'. Has this accusation been a help or a hindrance to police relations with minority ethnic communities?

Extracts from this document...


Following the publication of the Macpherson Report, the police service has been accused of being 'institutionally racist'. Has this accusation been a help or a hindrance to police relations with minority ethnic communities? The Macpherson report was published in 1999 amidst problems of racial inequality and a lack of faith in the police amongst minority ethnic communities. There is an ongoing debate on whether Macpherson's report was a help or a hindrance with regards to minority ethnic relations and the police; it is this dispute that the essay shall examine. To begin with the paper will look at the problems, which existed prior to Sir William Macpherson's publication and which led to the publication of his report. It will then proceed to examine the failures of the Scarman report, in order to look at both the prior problems and failures regarding the 1981 Scarman publication and see how these two sets of factors affected the way in, which minority ethnic communities responded to Macpherson's report. The essay will then continue on to highlight two main areas of recommendation made by Sir William Macpherson and judge whether or not these were successfully carried out and what effect, if any they had on the minority ethnic community relations. Finishing with the introduction of the acts, which were inspired by and followed the Macpherson report, and discuss the results, which they had on police, minority ethnic relations. The problems in Britain regarding racism prior to the Macpherson report and the failure of the Scarman report to remedy these, could have been said to have meant that police and minority ethnic communities were instantly bettered just by the mere publication of Macpherson's article. ...read more.


Such changes as directed by Sir William Macpherson in his report have been shown to have, pushed up the number of racist incidents that are now reported to the police. For example The CPS Racist Incident Monitoring Scheme Annual Report 2001-2002 found a 28.5% increase in the number of racist incidents reported compared to that of the previous years prior to the macpherson report. Sir David Calvert-Smith (2002, Director of public prosecutions) attributed the rise in reported offences to, 'More victims now having the confidence to come forward knowing that the CPS and the police take these offences seriously'. Such a rise in the number of victims of racism coming forward demonstrates that the changes as initiated by the 1999 Macpherson report have in fact helped minority ethnic opinions of the police, as they are now happier to report such crimes. However despite the fact that indeed the reporting of racist crimes has risen, the satisfaction of minority ethnic communities with the police is still markedly lower than that of white communities, indicating that racism still exists and attitudes toward the police have not altered entirely. Dr Andrew Pilkington's overall findings of his research in 2001 indicated that white victims expressed a total satisfaction rating of 65%, whereas black and Asian victims only expressed a satisfaction rating of 41.2% and 38.1% respectively. Also the rate of which these reports are being substantiated is still very low at 2% and of these only about 20% result in either criminal or disciplinary proceedings (G. Smith 2000:6 cited in Reiner, R. ...read more.


T 2003). It is argued that legislation such as the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 and the Criminal Justice Bill 2002 will disproportionately affect ethnic minorities because of strongly engrained institutional racism (Bourne 2002; Bridges 2001). Also the anti-terrorism act 2001 likewise is argued to be discriminatory, and is perceived to be eroding many basic rights on the grounds of national security. Therefore despite the moves and acts being passed as a result of the Macpherson report the current and ongoing context of what is happening in society and the legislation being used to deal with this, will mean that police relations with ethnic minorities will always be fraught and problematic, even if all of Macpherson's recommendations were carried out. To conclude Macpherson's publication and allegation of institutional racism did help with regards to at least alerting the public and the authorities to a problem. Encouraging positive moves to change such as introducing improvements in the overall handling of racist cases and promoting the recruitment of minority officers. However far more needs to be done in order to regain the minority communities faith in the police force, which was so shattered by the accusation of institutional racism. There needs to be further changes with regards to the organisation of the police, less on the superficial aspects such as just recruitment, more focus on for example promotion and why ethnic minorities are reluctant to enter the police service. Police relations with ethnic minorities will never be fully repaired due to societal factors such as terrorism, immigration etc. But the Macpherson report did help the police relations with minority communities in many ways, but there is far more to be done in order to eradicate what he himself labelled 'institutional racism'. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Is the Underachievement of Ethnic Minority Children due to a Racist School System?

    levels of validity which is very important to me, however I understand that my study will not be representative of the population and much more difficult to analyse. Yet I feel that I need much more than yes and no answers as I am looking for explanations to why and

  2. Race or religion? The impact of religion on the employment and earnings of Britain's ...

    1997: 133). Brown (2000) provides evidence that religion is an important determinant of economic activity amongst Britain's South Asians. He demonstrates significant differences between Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims and shows Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims to be the most disadvantaged, in terms of unemployment, of all the South Asian religious groups.

  1. Identity Paper

    to the expectations of obtaining a proper education to later begin a successful career. Although there were obvious gender role differences between us we still shared a close bond. We often shared toys whether they were action figures, blocks, Legos, etc.

  2. An investigation into people(TM)s belief about Hell

    Methodology Methodology This study aims to discover the distribution of the belief in Hell in society. As stated in the rationale and the context, it will focus on the distribution of the belief in Hell between religious and non-religious, male and female members of society and whether these people's beliefs have an effect on their lives or not.


    But since then, a healthy ? and not so healthy in some quarters ? has raged on about the appropriateness of the term, with camps for and against it rising up. The rights and responsibilities of individuals in society as citizens: rights give all citizens in a country guarantees about

  2. Identify and briefly describe the discriminatory practices for each case study

    out their history or background story then she wouldnt treat patients properly. For patricia to contiune on her career path she needs to learn tolerance.THis is important to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities leading to social cohesion. For tolerance to take place a staff member must not be racist, sexist or homophobic amongst other discriminatory practices.

  1. Black Male perception, of Secondary School Attainment and Opportunities. "Explore reasons for the academic ...

    Whereas black male students believed that teachers didn't believe in their ability to achieve good grades. This leads me on to my second theme of institutional racism.

  2. This briefing paper is designed to inform the Metropolitan Police Of the true issues ...

    (Governments response to rape ) However recorded crimes do not reflect the whole picture therefore there is more incidences of rape then is shown here,rape is known to be highly unreported. ?Some victims are deterred from coming forward because they fear they will be vilified? (CPS)

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work