In the Media

Stephen Lawrence case: Met police call in watchdog over corruption claims

PUBLISHED May 11, 2012

Scotland Yard has called in the official police watchdog over claims that police corruption may have shielded the killers of Stephen Lawrence.

After media allegations two months ago that police failed to pass potentially relevant material to the 1998 public inquiry into Stephen's death, the Metropolitan police started an internal review.

The Met said it would now share the review's "findings with the Independent Police Complaints Commission so that they can review it in the light of their previous involvement in the case".

In March the Guardian revealed that a secret Scotland Yard report detailing questions about the conduct and integrity of a police chief involved in the Stephen Lawrence case was not given to the 1998 Macpherson inquiry.

Stephen's mother, Doreen Lawrence, has called for a new public inquiry, the second into her son's death, following media allegations about the police officers involved in the first Metropolitan police investigation in 1993.

The Met has not made public the results of its internal review. The calls for a public inquiry or even a second Macpherson inquiry have been supported by Labour, the Tory mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and several MPs.

In a statement, the Met said: "The Directorate of Professional Standards has reviewed a considerable number of files and reports dating back to the 1980s as well as conducting interviews with a number of key individuals involved in the original investigation into both Stephen Lawrence's murder and police corruption.

"We have retrieved a number of key documents, which greatly assist in understanding what material was available to the Macpherson inquiry and are now in the process of sharing our findings with the Independent Police Complaints Commission so that they can review it in the light of their previous involvement in the case."

The IPCC's previous involvement came in 2007 after an inquiry into allegations about a detective in the Lawrence case, the former detective sergeant John Davidson. Then an IPCC investigation found no evidence to substantiate allegations that a supergrass had passed information about Davidson's alleged corruption in the Lawrence case to Scotland Yard, who had then buried it.

The concerns around another former commander, Ray Adams, and whether the Met passed information to the Macpherson inquiry about its investigations into him, may be more likely to increase the pressure on the home secretary, Theresa May, to call a second inquiry.

Adams was said to have links with Kenneth Noye, who was later convicted of murder. At the Macpherson inquiry the Lawrence lawyers claimed Noye had a criminal associate, Clifford Norris, whose son, David Norris, was a prime suspect in the murder of Lawrence. David Norris ? along with Gary Dobson ? was finally convicted in January this year of the murder. Adams insists the Met's investigations exonerated him and denies any wrongdoing.

Within weeks of the Norris and Dobson's convictions the issue of corruption in the Lawrence case surfaced when the Independent made allegations about Davidson. The allegations about Davidson and the Lawrence case were also previously made in the Guardian in 2002 and by the BBC in 2006. Davidson denies any wrongdoing.