Special event to commemorate Stephen Lawrence held in Three Rivers
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Officers and staff around the county have been joining with partners and local communities to commemorate the life of Stephen Lawrence.
Stephen was murdered in a racist attack in south London in 1993, when he was just 18 years old. Stephen Lawrence Day was created by the Stephen Lawrence Foundation as a celebration of his life and legacy. It exists to inspire a more equal, inclusive society, and to foster opportunities for marginalised young people in the UK.
Today (Thursday 20 April) officers from Three Rivers held a memorial in partnership with Three Rivers District Council at the Rose Garden, Three Rivers House, Rickmansworth to commemorate Stephen’s short life. A representative from the Watford African Caribbean Association (WACA) was in attendance to plant a ‘Remember Me’ rose in memory of Stephen, with a memorial plaque.
Three Rivers Detective Inspector Bhamra said: “The aim of this national day is to celebrate everything that Stephen was and could have become, as well as an opportunity for everyone to think about the part they play in creating a society in which everyone can flourish.
“As the police, this is hugely important to us - we want everyone to feel valued, supported and confident to live their life regardless of their gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or religion and we play a big part of this. It is important that we take the opportunity to use our platform for raising awareness of important events and campaigns.
“We continue our own work aimed at developing a greater understanding of discrimination and cultural change and promoting equality across all our diverse communities in Hertfordshire and within our own organisation.”
Joanne Wagstaffe, the Chief Executive of Three Rivers District Council, said: “The national day of remembrance for Stephen Lawrence is an opportunity to remind us all of the values which today are associated with Stephen’s name – and the mark he has left on the world. The values of fairness and respect, the hope for a world that is truly free from discrimination and one in which we all play our part as active citizens. May this newly planted rose go on to be a symbol of this legacy for years to come, and a reminder that Stephen’s name be associated with hope for a fairer and better world.”
Hertfordshire Constabulary is committed to promoting race and inclusion both within the force and in the communities it serves. This work is ongoing, and the force is fully supporting the new National Race Action Plan, which aims to address race disparities affecting Black people and change a legacy of distrust.
The plan complements the work already taking place within Hertfordshire Constabulary, a key part of which is the creation of a new ‘Race and Inclusion Board’. This board is made up of volunteers from the Black communities in Hertfordshire. Its role is to track our progress against our objectives around race and diversity, as well as those in the national plan and to observe and advise.
The board met in February where the issue of stop and search was discussed. Meetings will continue throughout the year covering a range of subjects.