WAITING FOR ANSWERS: Doreen
STEPHEN LAWRENCE'S mother, Doreen Lawrence, said she is pleased there will be an independent review into allegations that police corruption may have shielded suspects in her son’s racist murder.
Home Secretary Theresa May ordered the probe on June 1, just a day after reviews from the Metropilitan Police and watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), said they found no evidence of corruption.
In a statement, Mrs. Lawrence, who had expressed disappointment with the reviews by the Met Police and IPCC, said: 'I am pleased that the Home Secretary has taken my concerns seriously about allegations of corruption in the investigations into my son’s murder.'
Mrs. Lawrence had written to the Home Secretary in March after a slew of media reports alleged one investigating officer had links to the father of one of two suspects, who were jailed for Stephen’s murder in January 2012.
The reports also claimed that the Met Police failed to disclose certain evidence to the Macpherson Inquiry into the police’s handling of the original investigation into the teenager’s 1993 murder.
A Home Office spokesperson told reporters that May had ordered ‘a QC-led review of the work the Metropolitan Police has undertaken into investigating claims of corruption in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.’
Mrs. Lawrence continued: ‘Whilst I asked for a public enquiry into these allegations my discussions with the Home Secretary have reassured me that the independent review she has ordered will seek to deal with my concerns. This is because firstly, it will be conducted by someone independent of both the police and the IPCC, organisations in which I have little faith and confidence and secondly, the person conducting the review, Mark Ellison QC, is someone who has already shown his commitment in getting justice for me and my family.’
She added: ‘I see this review as only the start of a process which, should it reveal matters which need further exploration, that will be done without hesitation.’
On May 31, the Met Police said its internal review, done by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS), showed officers did not withhold evidence linked to corruption from the Stephen Lawrence inquiry.
The Met claimed that its internal review ‘concluded that no investigations, nor the inquiry, have uncovered evidence of corruption or collusion which could have adversely affected or otherwise influenced the path of the original investigation or subsequent investigations’.
A different review, conducted by police watchdog, the IPCC, also said there was no evidence of corruption regarding the case.
Stephen, an aspiring architect, was stabbed to death by a gang of youths in a racist attack on April 22, 1993 in Eltham, southeast London.
The initial police investigation into his death has been heavily criticised and led to a public inquiry in which the Met police service was labelled as ‘institutionally racist’.