The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) demonstrated that many public authorities were not adequately addressing the problems of racial discrimination and inequality. As a result, Parliament amended the Race Relations Act (1976) in 2000, requiring public authorities like Mansfield District Council to publish a Race Equality Scheme.
Information from Equality and Human Rights Commission
The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999) demonstrated that many public authorities were not adequately addressing the problems of racial discrimination and inequality.
As a result, Parliament amended the Race Relations Act (1976) in 2000, requiring public authorities like Mansfield District Council to publish a Race Equality Scheme.
This amendment imposed new duties on public authorities to have due regard for the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination
- Promote equality of opportunity
- Proactively promote good race relations
Local Authorities have a responsibility under the Crime and Disorder Act to tackle, along with other relevant bodies and the Police, the levels of crime and disorder in their communities.
Mansfield District Council is working closely with Mansfield Partnership against Crime (MPAC) the Notts Hate Incident Partnership to reduce all hate and race crimes and provide an appropriate response to victims. Alongside all the relevant agencies the council actively encourages the reporting of those crimes and incidents. This may include an offence motivated by hostility, prejudice and hatred on the grounds of race, religion, faith or belief, gender and sexuality. Please see related media on this page on how to report a hate crime.
The Race Relations Act
In 2001, the Race Relations Act was amended to give public authorities a new statutory duty to promote race equality and the Race Equality Duty was formed. This Duty aims to help public authorities to provide fair and accessible services and improve equal opportunities in employment practices.
The Race Equality Duty assists authorities in becoming more accountable and transparent in their methods to the communities they serve and allows a greater involvement in the processes from the community ensuring that everyone has a chance to give their views.
This legislation was necessary to ensure that members of the public receive the best possible service from their local authority, as it was evidenced that there were inconsistencies within areas as was highlighted by the Stephen Lawrence Enquiry.
A direct consequence of the legislation is that all public authorities must produce a Race Equality Scheme. Encapsulated within this scheme the authority must outline how they aim to meet both the general and specific duties to promote race Equality.
The general duty applies to all public authorities and requires them to have due regard to:
- Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
- Promote equality of opportunity, and
- Promote good relations between persons of different racial groups.
In addition to the general duties public authorities are bound by specific duties and part if this duty is to prepare and publish a Race equality Scheme which sets out the authorities arrangements for:
- Assessing and consulting on the likely impact of its proposed policies on the promotion of race equality
- Monitoring its policies for any adverse impact on the promotion of race equality
- Publishing the results of such assessments and consultation
- Ensuring public access to information and services that it provides
- Training staff in connection with the general and specific duties, and
- Reviewing the scheme every three years.
More information on the duty to promote race equality can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission Web site.
The full text of the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 is available online.