Family and friends of the victims of racist murders have reacted angrily to a leaked Home Office internal memo which describes the murders of black teenager Stephen Lawrence and young Asian Zahid Mubarek as ‘low impact’ events.
The mother of Ricky Reel, Sukhdev Reel, told News Line yesterday: ‘That they categorised these murders as “low impact” is disgraceful.
‘From the very start they knew these were racist attacks. They should have been prioritised; they had a huge impact.
‘There should have been far more input into the deaths of these three kids, Stephen Lawrence, Zahid Mubarek and my son Ricky.
‘All I can say is high priority wasn’t given to Ricky’s death.
‘I’m still seeking answers from the Home Office, as to why Ricky’s death was not considered a higher risk, when they knew it was a racist attack.
‘Their priorities are wrong as far as I’m concerned. They are only looking after ministers’ careers, not safeguarding the lives of our children.
‘The police are leaving me to find the evidence for the killing of my own son.’
Sue Alexander, whose son Azelle Rodney was shot dead in a police operation, said: ‘It’s disgraceful, if somebody’s death doesn’t have much of an impact.
‘Every day this week I’ve been hearing of a death in custody or in a prison cell.
‘People have been ringing me all week regarding new deaths.
‘How dare the Home Office put out such assessments with little information?
‘They don’t take these deaths seriously at all.
‘They have no regard for the person that was killed or the families left behind.
‘They talk about family involvement after the person has died but nothing ever happens.
‘I’m still fighting and am about to embark on a legal challenge to the state.
‘What’s coming out is a bit of a farce. The public have a right to know the truth but a lot of covering up is going on.’
The Home Office memo ‘Risk Management Standard Format’ was sent as guidance to regional probation officials, to alert them to risks to the Home Office’s reputation.
It rated as ‘very high impact’ blunders including the release of foreign prisoners or of a prisoner who goes on to kill.
This, the memo warns, is ‘likely to lead to a change of leadership at the top of the office (Home Secretary level)’.
The memo cited ‘policy U-turn (ID cards)’ and missing key performance targets as ‘medium impact’ risks.
Examples given of ‘low impact events’ were ‘inadequate protection for individuals/individual communities, including failure to resolve celebrity cases, e.g. Mubarek, Lawrence’.
The Home Office said it regretted any unintentional offence. However, it remains the position that the Home Office considers that a Home Secretary’s job is not threatened by unsolved racist killings.