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Neville Lawrence to address Belfast forum on policing

SPEAKER: Neville Lawrence

NEVILLE LAWRENCE is set to address a major gathering in Northern Ireland of black police officers, in an effort to tackle racism within UK forces.

The father of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, will be a guest speaker at the National Black Police Association's (NBPA) annual conference, which is being hosted in Belfast for the first time.

The Belfast Telegraph reports that the theme of this year's meeting is how far policing has come since a landmark inquiry into Stephen's 1993 murder in south-east London found evidence of institutional racism in the police.

The Macpherson Inquiry urged major reforms, making 72 recommendations for change within policing.

Speaking on the event, Mr Lawrence said he was looking forward to taking part.

"I realise there is still a lot of work to do with racism in policing and I will assist the police service in preserving Stephen's legacy and adherence to the ethos of the Macpherson Inquiry," he said.

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) will be hosting the NBPA conference and general meeting over three days in October.

Imran Khan QC, who represented the Lawrence family at the inquiry, will also speak at the event.

PSNI Deputy Chief Constable Drew Harris said: "We are delighted to be hosting the annual NBPA conference for the first time in Northern Ireland and look forward to welcoming delegates to our great city.

"The NBPA, supported locally by our Ethnic Minority Police Association, have been developing a comprehensive programme and have secured the attendance of a number of internationally renowned speakers."

He added: "The theme - 20 years on: the Macpherson Inquiry: How far have we come? - will allow those attending to reflect on the progress which has been made since Stephen was murdered in 1993 and consider the many challenges which we face."

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