Riots and the Met

August 23, 2011, 8:06 PM GMT+0

More than half of British people do not believe that the Metropolitan police are institutionally racist, while just one in five thinks that they are, our poll has found, as an investigation into this month’s shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham continues. The circumstances of the shooting, in which some have cited racism as a factor, have been blamed as the original, but ultimately unrelated, spark of the subsequent widespread riots throughout London and the rest of England.

  • In 1999, the Macpherson report found that the Metropolitan police were institutionally racist, but just 18% of those surveyed agree that they are
  • 53% of people think that the Metropolitan police are not institutionally racist

Mark Duggan was shot by police officers earlier this month in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, sparking an initially peaceful protest in the area which eventually led to violence. The unrest quickly spread to other parts of London, and in the days that followed affected many of the country’s cities, including Manchester and Liverpool, requiring substantial police presence in the capital and across England.

Major review

In 1999, Sir William Macpherson conducted a major review following the murder of Stephen Lawrence in which he concluded that the Metropolitan police were guilty of institutional racism. Among a series of comprehensive changes, he set up ‘performance indicators’ to monitor the future handling of racial incidents and the extent to which different ethnic groups were satisfied with police behaviour.