Home Affairs Committee

The Macpherson Report: Twenty Years On inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Committee will be examining progress in the twenty years since the Macpherson report was published, and in particular how the Government and police service has performed against the following recommendations:

  • "That the Home Secretary and Police Authorities should seek to ensure that the membership of police authorities reflects so far as possible the cultural and ethnic mix of the communities which those authorities serve" [this would now apply more appropriately to PCCs and their offices];
  • "That all possible steps should be taken by Police Services at local level in consultation with local Government and other agencies and local communities to encourage the reporting of racist incidents and crimes";
  • "That Police Services and Victim Support Services ensure that their systems provide for the pro-active use of local contacts within minority ethnic communities to assist with family liaison where appropriate";
  • "That police training and practical experience in the field of racism awareness and valuing cultural diversity should regularly be conducted at local level"; and "that it should be recognised that local minority ethnic communities should be involved in such training and experience"; and
  • "That the Home Office and Police Services should facilitate the development of initiatives to increase the number of qualified minority ethnic recruits".

Terms of Reference 

The Committee would welcome written evidence on the following topics:

  • Progress made to date against any of the 70 recommendations made by Sir William Macpherson in 1999 within the report of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry;
  • The extent to which the 43 police forces in England and Wales have made sufficient progress in the last twenty years towards ensuring that the ethnic diversity of their officers, PCSOs and staff reflects the diversity of the communities that they serve;
  • Progress in ensuring that black, Asian and other minority ethnic (‘BAME’) officers and staff are properly represented at all ranks of policing, and that the senior leadership of policing (chief officers and police and crime commissioners) includes a representative number of BAME officers and officials;
  • The extent to which the police service has become a diverse and inclusive culture, free from the institutional racism identified by Sir William Macpherson, including the impact of training courses and other initiatives;
  • The quality of the service provided by police forces to BAME individuals and communities;
  • The current state of police relations with BAME individuals and communities, including the impact of police tactics used disproportionately on BAME people, such as stop and search; and
  • The quality and effectiveness of the support and leadership provided by the Home Office and other national bodies in achieving nationwide progress against Sir William’s recommendations.


Terms of reference: The Macpherson Report: Twenty Years On

Latest evidence

  • 09 Jul 2019 - The Macpherson Report: twenty years on - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF371 KB) HC 1829 | Published 22 Jul 2019

    Evidence given by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Duncan Ball, Metropolitan Police Service; Michael Lockwood, Director General, Independent Office for Police Conduct, Jo Noakes, Director of Workforce Development (temporary), College of Policing, HMI Matt Parr CB, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services

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