City marks Stephen Lawrence anniversary

200 young people, City of London Police and Metropolitan Police Service cadets, and apprentices have attended a careers fair and panel discussions in the Square Mile ahead of Stephen Lawrence Day.

The City of London Police Authority Board partnered with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to host the event at the City of London Corporation’s headquarters on Saturday [23 March], for people aged 15-18 from a diverse range of backgrounds.

Several  public, private, and third sector organisations, including the City of London Police, Metropolitan Police Service, London Fire Brigade, Amazon, and the Stephen Lawrence Foundation offered careers advice.

Guest speaker Dr Angela Herbert MBE, who has an extensive career in criminal justice and is a successful motivational speaker, discussed improving relations between police forces and local communities. 

A panel comprising former Metropolitan Police Service officer Amina Ahmed, who held senior leadership roles and champions inclusion and tackling racism; Her Honour Judge Anuja Dhir KC, the first non-white judge to be appointed to sit full-time at the Old Bailey; City Corporation Town Clerk Ian Thomas CBE, and City of London Police Temporary Commissioner Pete O’Doherty, spoke about their personal experiences and career paths, and what Stephen Lawrence's legacy means to them.

A youth panel discussion with representatives from the City of London Police Cadets, the City of London Police Youth Advisory Group, and the Prince’s Trust focused on experiences and relationships with institutions and how the hopes and aspirations of young people can be a powerful tool for change.

Stephen Lawrence was born and grew up in south-east London, where he lived with his parents Neville and Doreen, his brother Stuart and sister Georgina. On 22 April 1993, at the age of just 18, Stephen was murdered in an unprovoked racist attack.

After the initial police investigation, five suspects were arrested but not convicted. A public inquiry into the handling of Stephen’s case was held in 1998, leading to the publication of the Macpherson Report, which has been called ‘one of the most important moments in the modern history of criminal justice in Britain’.

It led to profound cultural changes in attitudes to racism, to the law and to police practice. It also paved the way for a greater understanding of discrimination of all forms and new equalities legislation.

Chair of the City of London Police Authority Board, James Thomson, said:

“I am extremely proud of the work that the City of London Police Authority and City of London Corporation does with the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation to reflect on his legacy, the resulting changes in society, and the impact that this continues to have.

“Our vision is for the City of London Police to be the most inclusive police service in country, not just within the organisation but the service it delivers and the way it is delivered.

“That cannot simply be words on a page, but supported by a strategy and action that continues to drive the change needed to achieve that vision.

“We must all continue to work tirelessly to build better relationships between institutions and the people they serve.

“Through reflecting on Stephen’s story we can inspire young people, help them make connections, promote opportunities for them to fulfil their potential and strive for a more inclusive society in our own everyday actions.

“Young people are our future, and every child should have access to opportunities in life regardless of their social or economic backgrounds.”

Temporary Commissioner Pete O’Doherty, City of London Police said:

“The racially motivated murder of Stephen Lawrence must never be forgotten.

“We owe it to Stephen and his family to call out all forms of racism and become a more inclusive society.

“We’re proud to attend and support the City of London Corporation’s 2nd annual Stephen Lawrence Day.

“We need to hear the voices of young people and promote opportunities for them to influence how we work collaboratively across the City.

“Our aim is to become the most inclusive and community orientated police service in the UK which is why event such as this are so important.”

Chief Executive of the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, Jessican Neil, said:  

“The most extraordinary thing about Stephen and all that his legacy has come to represent is how beautifully ordinary he was. Stephen had an entire lifetime of hope and potential ahead of him, which he was tragically not allowed to realise.

“Honouring Stephen Lawrence Day and the anniversary of his death is not about sombre reflection; it's about making a joyous, active, and tangible commitment to building a society that’s kinder, fairer, and more equitable in his honour.

“This year, the theme of the day is "The Power of Learning," and we could not be prouder to have kicked off this year's celebrations alongside our partners at the City of London Police Authority Board in a room full of the extraordinary young leaders, who will be carrying his legacy into the next generation.” 

The Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation’s theme for this year is the Power of Learning. The organisation’s vision and mission is to inspire a more equitable, inclusive society and to foster opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK. The Foundation aims to give marginalised young people access to professional opportunities across a wide range of sectors and industries.


About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally successful UK –

About the City of London Police Authority Board:

The City of London Corporation’s Court of Common Council is the Police Authority for the Square Mile. The Court delegates this duty to the Police Authority Board. The Board is responsible for holding the Commissioner to account in running an effective and efficient service; ensuring value for money in the way the Force is run; and setting policing priorities taking into account the views of the local community.