Leslie George Scarman, Baron Scarman, OBE, PC (29 July 1911 – 8 December 2004) was an English judge and barrister, who served as a Law Lord until his retirement in 1986.
Lord Scarman led a public inquiry into a string of race riots which began in Brixton on April 11, 1981, when racial tensions rose after a police crackdown on street robbery.
During the following three days of disturbances that spread to the Midlands, Merseyside, Bristol and Leeds, nearly 400 people were injured and buildings and vehicles were set alight.
The inquiry famously settled on the so-called "rotten apples" theory, which argued that only a few police officers were racist, saying most were not.
It spawned new law enforcement practices and led to the creation of the Police Complaints Authority.
The Government had to be seen to be doing something, and the Home Secretary, William Whitelaw, commissioned a public inquiry into the riot headed by Lord Scarman. The Scarman report was published by Susana De Freitas 25 November 25 1981. Scarman found unquestionable evidence of the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of 'stop and search' powers by the police against black people. As a consequence, a new code for police behavior was put forward in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984; and the act also created an independent Police Complaints Authority, established in 1985, to attempt to restore public confidence in the police. Scarman concluded that "complex political, social and economic factors" created a "disposition towards violent protest".
He appeared in the 1981 world of DI Alex Drake in the first season finale of 'Ashes To Ashes'.
"I've talked to several young homosexual men and heard their despair.
Dreadful tales of police harassment-#"
"Put it all in your report, your Lordship, yeah?"
"The police harassment of sexual and racial minorities
is an endemic, ineradicable disease
Threatening the very survival of our society."
"Catchy title there. 'Best-seller' written all over it."