|Room 1271, 50 Queen Anne's Gate,
London, SW1H 9AT
April 8, 1999.
Dear Mr Bryson,
Thank you for your letter to the Home Secretary
of 26th February 1999 where you express concern about racism against
white people. Your letter has since been passed to me and I have
been asked to reply.
The Government is fully committed to tackling
racism in whatever form it takes. The Government has introduced
new racially aggravated offences, in the Crime and Disorder Act
1998, which carry higher maximum penalties where there is a racist
motive or demonstrates racial hostility in connection with the
offence. The Courts are also under an obligation to treat a racist
motive as an aggravating factor in any offence.
The Home Secretary has now published his Action
Plan in response to the recommendations from the Inquiry into
the death of Stephen Lawrence. The action plan is guided by certain
principles including the need to support police officers to enforce
the law in a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic Britain and raising
standards and professional competence in the investigation of
crimes of all kinds, whether racist or not.
The Home Secretary has also announced his intention
to extend the Race Relations Act 1976 to public services. The
Act currently outlaws discrimination based on a person's race.
All of the legal provisions mentioned about
protect everyone from racial violence or discrimination. They
do not only target ethnic minorities in the UK. They apply to
discrimination against white people because they are white or
violence against targeted against a white person because they
are white. The police will record as a racial incident an attack
on a white person made by a non-white person if it is motivated
by racial hostility.
The Government has made clear that the lessons
to be learned from the Lawrence Report are a challenge to everybody
in this country. The Prime Minister has made it clear that he
wants "...a country where every colour is a good colour and
every member of every race able to fulfil their potential."