London, Feb 23 (ANI): British Justice Secretary Jack Straw has said that there may still be some pockets of institutional racism in the Metropolitan Police ahead of the 10th anniversary of a landmark report which made the claim.
The Macpherson Report was published after an inquiry into the handling of the murder of Black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993, and helped usher in a new era of policing and race relations in Britain.
The family of the 18-year-old student will mark 10 years since the report's publication this week, and Straw commented on racism in Britain's biggest force ahead of the anniversary, The Telegraph reported.
He told the BBC's Politics Show: "If you are asking me whether I believe the Met as a whole is still institutionally racist, the answer is no."
But he tempered his comment by admitting there may still be "pockets" of institutional racism in the force.
"If you ask me do I believe that it's perfect as an institution and that Black and Asian people, and indeed women, have the same opportunities in practice as white males, I think the answer is - probably not in some areas," Straw said.
"There may still be pockets of institutional racism," he added.
Government ministers and senior officers have overseen a relentless drive to erase the tag of institutional racism from the Metropolitan Police and other forces, but many continue to question whether people can ever be treated equally, regardless of their race or religion, by the police or within the srvice itself. (ANI)