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City of London Police mark inaugural Stephen Lawrence Day

On Monday 22 April the City of London Police marked the very first Stephen Lawrence Day – 26 years after his racially motivated murder in Eltham.

The day was to be a celebration of Stephen’s life with people up and down the country encouraged to have meaningful conversations on how to take forward Stephen’s legacy, and ensure the voices of young people are being heard in their communities. 

‘Live Our Best Life’ event

City of London Volunteer Police Cadets and Cadet leaders from the City of London’s Community Policing Team, attended an event hosted by the Prince’s Trust and the Home Office in south London. The event brought together a number of young people who shared their stories with each other, celebrated the change they had made, and explored the positive value they had passed down to others, in line with the event’s theme - ‘Live Our Best Life’.

Our Cadets were inspired to hear the personal stories of two Prince’s Trust Ambassadors, Hezron Brown and Taslima Khan who had both been drawn into a world of violence through gang membership and lack of support from their families, communities and schools. Their stories led into a practical discussion on youth violence and how violence impacts communities and the perceptions and values placed on young people in society today.

Nick Hurd MP, who is the Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service, and the Minister for London, attended the event and took an active role in the discussions. Our Cadets spoke to him about the opportunities afforded to them through their involvement in the Volunteer Police Cadets.

Important first aid training

The inquiry into Stephen’s tragic death resulted in the publication of the MacPherson Report in 1999. A total of 70 recommendations were made in the 350-page document, three of which focused on the training of police officers in first aid. All officers are now trained in basic first aid and have to complete refresher training throughout their service to recognised and published standards.

We felt it important that our Cadets were aware of this report and its recommendations, and that they too were trained in first aid.

Unfortunately violence and knife crime is still something affecting our young people today but by educating and upskilling them to have not only the skill but also the confidence, to apply first aid and be resourceful at a scene is extremely empowering and could potentially save a life.

Our Cadets were given a series of practical first aid training sessions spanning a number of weeks in advance on Stephen Lawrence Day, culminating in a practical assessment of their skills and knowledge this week.

Sharon Herbert, City of London Volunteer Police Cadet co-ordinator, said:

“It was important for our Cadets to reflect on and celebrate Stephen’s life. The lessons learnt from Stephen’s death are as relevant today as they were 26 years ago and I have no doubt they still will be in another 26 years.

“Here at the City of London Police we empower our Cadets to be a voice in their community, to make a change and to live their best life at all times. We hope that if they do pursue a career in policing, they continue to make a positive change and teach other young people about the lessons they have learnt and their experiences.”

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