The murder of the teenager Stephen Lawrence in April 1993 became an important moment in our modern history. The crime – and the police’s failure to catch his killers – shocked Britain. The dogged campaign led by the Lawrence family made social and legal history, with a major inquiry into institutional racism, and a change in the criminal law which saw two of his murderers finally convicted on new DNA evidence in 2012.
Twenty years on, how much has changed – in Britain, in London, and in Eltham itself?
The Integration Consensus 1993-2013: How Britain changed since Stephen Lawrence, directly addresses this question.
Through national polling carried out for British Future by BritainThinks, and two events in Eltham in March 2013 – a citizens’ jury and a debate – there is evidence that Britain has changed, as has Eltham. We found that 51% of people polled thought levels of racism were higher in 1993 than they are today, while anxiety about living next door to somebody of a different ethnicity has fallen to an all-time low of just 6%.
But the report also found that while discrimination has fallen in some areas, it still exists, and for certain groups is very pronounced. Specifically 54% of people polled think that Muslims experience a lot of prejudice today.