This report describes a local initiative, Policing Diversity in Lambeth (PDL), which was developed to address the challenges of policing a highly ethnically diverse population.

The report is timely. The report of the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence has substantially redrawn the policy landscape in relation to policing and race issues. The Home Secretary’s priorities for policing in 2000-1 emphasise the need for improved community relations. The follow-up report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, ‘Winning the Race Revisited’, further stressed the need for urgent action. Parallel with these developments, the 1998 Crime and Disorder Act imposed a duty on police and local authorities to work to reduce crime in partnerships with local communities, and to engage more fully in consultation with local communities.

The report provides a snapshot of PDL at a particular stage in its development, and this report may seem of historical interest only. However, the analysis of underlying relations between the police and the community will have wider applicability for both the police and crime and disorder partnerships, as do the lessons that can be drawn from PDL’s first year.

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British Home Office Policing and Reducing Crime Unit, Paper 121 (2000)