Derbyshire Police make second request for documents behind Channel 4 documentary that claims officers spied on relatives of Stephen Lawrence in the aftermath of the teenager's murder

A former undercover officer claims he was requested by his bosses to find 'dirt' that could be used against members of the family

Derbyshire Police have reportedly demanded Channel 4 hand over documents from a whistleblower who revealed that undercover officers had spied on relatives of Stephen Lawrence in the aftermath of the black teenager’s murder in south-east London.

According to The Guardian, lawyers acting on behalf of Mick Creedon, the chief constable of Derbyshire, have demanded that Channel 4 provide “all written and electronic correspondence together with any notes and all unedited video footage" made by the former undercover officer Peter Francis. The demand is the second request following a letter sent in October.

Peter Francis said he was requested by his bosses to find “dirt” that could be used against members of the Lawrence family in the early aftermath of the black teenager’s racist murder in April 1993. He alleges that senior officers deliberately withheld his covert involvement from Sir William Macpherson, who headed the public inquiry into the role of police investigations.

The claim, one of a catalogue of allegations that were aired on Channel 4's Dispatches last June, reignited the controversy over covert policing.

According to The Guardian, Derbyshire police are investigating whether a breach of the Official Secrets Act and other offences have taken place by the broadcast.

A spokesman for Derbyshire police declined to comment.