Met sets up race crime post

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ONE OF Scotland Yard's most experienced detectives has been appointed to shake up the Metropolitan Police's investigation of racist and violent crime in the wake of the shortcomings revealed by the Stephen Lawrence inquiry, it was announced yesterday.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Grieve, currently head of the Anti- Terrorist Branch, has been made Director of Racial and Violent Crime.

The appointment of such a senior officer into a specially created job reflects the deep concern felt by Scotland Yard at the damage being done to their race relations by the evidence emerging from the Lawrence inquiry. It also appears to be a pre-emptive strike to head off what is certain to be a damning final report on their handling of the murder inquiry.

Mr Grieve's job will be to "head the next phase of reform of police racial awareness training and police investigation of racial and violent crime", said the Metropolitan Police.

The move means Mr Grieve has withdrawn from the shortlist for the deputy chief constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

The Metropolitan Police said Mr Grieve's task "will be to build on the improvements made since 1993, to take account of the lessons to be learned from part one of the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and to respond to the recommendations from part two".

Part one of the inquiry, currently under way, has been looking at the police investigation of the 1993 killing of the black teenager.

Counsel to the inquiry, Edmund Lawson QC, has said it was plain the investigation had gone "badly wrong".

Lawyers for the Lawrence family have accused Scotland Yard of corruption and racism.

Part two of the inquiry will look at police investigation of racial crime in general, and will take evidence in hearings across the country.

The new post will become full-time "in due course".