Diana Fawcett, Chief Executive of independent charity Victim Support, said: “Today we commemorate the life of Stephen Lawrence, who 28 years ago was killed in a senseless racist attack. On Stephen Lawrence Day, we are all reminded that everyone has a role to play in creating a society free from racism, prejudice and hatred.
“Nearly three decades later, racism still persists across the country and around the world. In the past year alone, Victim Support has continued to see high numbers of victims affected by hate crime and racial discrimination, causing not only hurt and suffering but leaving lasting damage to their sense of safety, wellbeing and self-worth. People continue to be abused and subjected to violence simply because of the way they look and colour of their skin and yet, there are still barriers to them reporting crime and their access to justice and support, which only undermines their confidence and faith in the criminal justice system.
“While we know that there has been some progress made over the past few decades following the publication of the Macpherson report, we should not be complacent as there is still so much more to do in tackling structural and institutional racism. That’s why, we will not stop calling for change in the way black and ethnic minority victims are treated and we will continue to advocate for their rights to fair and equal access to justice and support.
“We stand with everyone who has experienced racism, prejudice and discrimination of all types. We must root out racism from society and build communities where everyone, regardless of their skin colour, feels supported and safe.”