Surrey Police celebrated Stephen Lawrence Day by inviting 11 of their Voluntary Police Cadets to learn all about Stephen’s story and think about the different things that they could do to make their community a better place.  Read on to find out more about the day from Head Cadet Holly Read, in the Surrey VPC’s Runnymede Unit:

“To start the day off, we learnt all about Stephen Lawrence’s story and the mistreatment his family received.  We were then split into groups and given a choice of three topics to teach our local community about: Diversity and Identity, Racism and Institutional Racism, and Democracy and Justice.  My group chose Democracy and Justice.  Once we had decided this, we began to learn about democracy, justice, our rights as young people and the criminal justice system, and thought about the best way we could pass on our learning about their importance to our community.

“Our group came up with the idea of hosting a workshop where we would teach secondary school children all about their rights, what we mean by democracy and justice, and the way that the criminal justice system works.  To teach them about the criminal justice system, we thought it would be a good idea to invite various people who worked within it (for example the police and the Crown Prosecution Service) to the workshop so that they could speak in more detail about their roles and the different procedures.  We would then get them to work through a scenario that people involved in the criminal justice system would go through with the children keeping in mind the key topic.  We thought this would be good to teach to Year 7s and then do a refresher for Year 11s just after their GCSEs are finished.

“One of the ideas that the other groups came up with was to bring together people from different faiths to go on days out, for example to a fair, letting people from various cultures know that the police is a welcoming organisation.

“From this day I will take away that we can all learn from history and start making positive changes now.  Through the Surrey VPC celebrating Stephen Lawrence Day in the future, we are helping to bridge the gap between the police and different communities to make society more inclusive and accepting.  By working together, it is hoped we can live more effectively together.”

Holly Read, Head Cadet for Surrey VPC