Stephen Lawrence Corruption: Theresa May Orders Fresh Inquiry

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STEPHEN LAWRENCE
Theresa May has ordered an inquiry into police corruption during the Stephen Lawrence case | AP

Theresa May has ordered an inquiry into allegations that the initial investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence was hampered by police corruption.

The home secretary's decision overrules an earlier decision by Scotland Yard that no new evidence was available that would prompt an investigation.

Both the Metropolitan Police Service and police watchdog, the Independent Complaints Commission (IPCC), carried out reviews after the claims earlier this year.

The force launched a review to examine the claims, while the IPCC reviewed its 2006 investigation into complaints following the broadcast that year of the BBC Panorama programme The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence.

The watchdog said that its review followed reports on allegations made by former Met police officer Neil Putnam about the relationship between former Detective Sergeant John Davidson and Clifford Norris, David Norris's father.

But on Thursday the IPCC said it found that no new information or evidence has been made available that would lead to a change in the conclusions reached by its original investigation into allegations made by the 2006 Panorama programme.

David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted of Stephen's murder in January this year - 19 years after the crime - and sentenced to life at the Old Bailey.

Stephen's mother Doreen Lawrence called for a fresh public inquiry after it was claimed the Met Police withheld paperwork from the Macpherson Inquiry.

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary has asked for a QC-led review of the work the Metropolitan Police has undertaken into investigating claims of corruption in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation.”

Shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said she though the independent review was "right" but that more needed to be done to combat racism in the police force:

"I feel that 13 years after the Macpherson report we should not only confront these allegations of corruption, but publicly review progress made in eliminating racism in the police service" she said.

"It was clear before the internal review undertaken by the Metropolitan Police into corruption and the Lawrence case that a public inquiry was needed."

"So too it is clear that internal reports and work, though worthwhile, are not sufficient in such an important case."

"After the history of problems in this case, everything possible should be done and be seen to be done to ensure the fullest possible confidence in the police investigations."

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