Leicestershire Police labelled ‘institutionally racist’ after Stephen Lawrence memorial tree dies


Mansfield House Police Station, Leicester (Photo: Rosie Vacciana-Browne)

By Rosie Vacciana-Browne

Leicestershire Police Force has been labelled ‘institutionally racist’ by a leading black officer speaking at a Home Affairs Committee hearing this week.

The president of the National Black Police Association, Sergeant Tola Munro, made the accusation on Tuesday after a tree, planted at Leicestershire Police’s Headquarters to commemorate the 25th anniversary of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence’s death, was damaged.

Sgt Munro said: “There was feedback, from what we would call white privilege, about the tree being planted in their garden.

“Sadly, that tree is now damaged. And that by our own colleagues … I believe Leicestershire Police is institutionally racist.”

He made his comments during an inquiry hearing to mark the 20th anniversary of The MacPherson Report into Stephen Lawrence’s murder.

The report looked into the investigation by the London Metropolitan Police that followed the unprovoked racial attack and murder of Stephen Lawrence in Eltham in 1993.

The MacPherson Report highlighted some major issues within the police force and its ‘institutional racism’. The purpose of the hearing on Tuesday was to look at the progress made to improve this.

Leicestershire Police Force has since denied Sgt Munro’s claims and stated that in a meeting with him prior to Tuesday there was no discussion of them.

A police spokesperson said: “The suggestion that this tree was vandalised was thoroughly investigated and concluded that the extreme heat of the summer was the most likely cause of the damage…the tree has been replaced.”

The force is seeking an urgent meeting with the NBPA to discuss the claims.

Leicester park safety fears ‘unfair’ say police

By Beth Mosettig

A Leicestershire Press investigation has discovered nearly 50 cases of violence and sexual assault have taken place this year in the vicinity of a popular Leicester park.

Police figures show there have been 47 reported cases of this type of crime between January 2016 and August 2016, in the area between Regents Road, Tigers Way and Welford Road, which includes Leicester’s Nelson Mandela Park.

Our investigation follows a police appeal for information after a woman was seriously sexually assaulted in Nelson Mandela Park earlier this year.

The 33-year-old-woman was approached from behind and sexually assaulted. Police are hunting three men in relation to the attack. No arrests have yet been made.

Inspector Simon Preston, the Commander for the city centre neighbourhood policing area, said: “The figures are not a fair representation of the level of crime in and around Nelson Mandela Park.

He said that in order to maintain anonymity of victims the police.uk figures did not pinpoint a precise location of where the crime was committed.

“There were six incidents of sexual assault on Regents Road, Tigers Way and Welford Road – an area which includes HMP Leicester, the Leicester Royal Infirmary and numerous multi-occupancy housing. One of these incidents involved a stranger attack and the investigation is continuing to find the person responsible.

“It is unfair to suggest that Nelson Mandela Park is unsafe because of the level of crime in its vicinity. We would always encourage everyone to stay in well-lit areas and to always walk in groups – this would be the advice for everyone of all ages in all parks across the city.”

Assistant City Mayor Manjula Sood, said: “There should be patrols at all times of the day not just in the evening, and they should have plain clothes officers on patrol as attackers might move on if they can spot police officers.”

“One assault is too much there might be many more assaults that aren’t even being reported to police.”

Nelson Mandela Park – named after the former South African leader in the late 1980s – is a busy city park, situated between Welford Road and Waterloo Way.

It features a playground, a green space and is commonly used as a cut through for shoppers and students.

It is a well-known and well-used public space – which makes these figures even more shocking, said Linda York, Manager of Leicester Rape Crisis.

“I didn’t know about the figures – but I would advise women not to walk in the park alone or carry your phone with a light on. Try to make yourself visible and, if possible, make sure you are with someone if you can be.”

Middlesborough and Leicester fans take the fighting off the pitch


Police intervened on the fighting fans 

By Mark Farmer

Clashes between Leicester City and Middlesbrough fans broke out on the evening of Saturday 26 November after their team’s game at the King Power Stadium.

Fan-recorded videos emerged on social media shortly after the final whistle.

Rival supporters can be seen in a stand-off leading to punches being thrown by both sets of supporters before police intervened.

The match, which ended in a 2-2 draw, saw the home side salvage a point late on through a 94th minute Islam Slimani penalty to cancel out two Alvaro Negredo goals.

Both teams have found themselves embroiled in a relegation battle, despite Leicester’s title winning heroics last season.

This does not excuse the behaviour of the supporters, however, who began fighting inside the stadium before piling together on the terraces outside the ground.

One Leicester City season of ticket holder of 11 years, Vicki Connelly, said: “There were about 50 people fighting inside the stadium and stewards were trying to split them up.”

“There were large groups outside that were trying to get at each other.”

Footage prior to the skirmishes showed Leicester fans chanting, ‘dirty northern b*******’ to antagonise Middlesbrough supporters into fighting.

Scenes like these have threatened to drag the sport back into its dark ages that were more commonplace in the 1980s with hooliganism rife on football’s terraces.

One twitter user Lee Lowery, 20, took to the social media site to voice his concerns.

He said: “Seeing Leicester and Boro fans fighting yesterday after the game and thinking what a disgrace, don’t even call yourselves fans of the sport.”

Vicki reiterated this after she revealed a male Middlesbrough fan threatened to ‘knock her out’ after she was overheard praising his team.

She said: “I don’t think these people represent football fans at all, because most of them don’t know how to behave.

“I get that people are going to be passionate about their team because I am, too.

“I saw fans chanting at each other, and that’s fine because it was all light-hearted, but as soon as it gets physical its gone way too far.”

Leicestershire Police confirmed two men, aged 18 and 33, were arrested following the incidents on Saturday.

They have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

Leicester man charged after fatal collision


By Beth Mosettig

Leicester man charged with a number of offences after a fatal collision on Fosse Road South earlier this year.


Guy Tomlinson, 37, of Norfolk Walk, Leicester, has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death by driving while uninsured and two counts of causing death by driving while unlicensed.


A Peugeot 206 which was being followed by an unmarked police car which then crashed into a Ford Lorry just before midnight.

The force of the impact pushed the Ford into the front of Snutch Convenience store.


The two passengers, David Anger and Christopher Needham, in the car were pronounced dead at the scene.

Tomlinson is due to appear before Leicester Magistrates’ Court Saturday 29 October.



Man charged following fatal collision

A man has been charged with a number of offences after a fatal collision in Fosse Road South, Leicester, earlier this year.

Guy Tomlinson, 37, of Norfolk Walk, Leicester, has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death by driving while uninsured and two counts of causing death by driving while unlicensed.

He is due to appear before Leicester Magistrates’ Court tomorrow (Saturday 29 October).

The charges relate to a fatal collision in Fosse Road South on Wednesday 9 March which resulted in the death of David Anger and Christopher Needham.