Doreen Lawrence has ‘no confidence’ in police after alleged smear campaign

 

The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence told MPs that she had no confidence in police investigating fellow officers following revelations about undercover officers allegedly targeting her family.

Speaking to the Home Affairs select committee, Doreen Lawrence said that “over the years” she was beginning to have a “level of trust” and confidence in officers investigating her son’s death. But she added: “Now I just don’t know what to believe any more. You can’t have police officers investigating each other. It’s proven that’s not the right way to do things.”

Scotland Yard has launched an inquiry after former undercover officer Peter Francis claimed that attempts were made to find information to smear the Lawrence family following Stephen’s murder in April 1993.

Two existing inquiries are examining the claims – a police investigation into the activities of undercover officers and another after allegations of corruption in the original investigation into Stephen’s murder, led by Mark Ellison QC.

Mr Ellison was due to report on his findings this month but told MPs that he was only half-way through the process of examining more than 100 crates of material.

Mrs Lawrence said she believes that undercover officers could have searched for information to smear her family because they were outspoken in their campaign for justice. “At the time it was probably because we were too outspoken and we were questioning how the investigation was run. We were told on a couple of occasions that they had never met any family like us before,” she said.

When asked by committee member Michael Ellis whether she felt as if the officers were spying on her family, she said: “It felt like that, at the time it felt like that. Whenever we asked questions about the investigation we were never given any answers.”

Mrs Lawrence later added: “We were uncomfortable with the liaison officers, we did not understand why they were questioning and asking who people were in our home.”

Mr Ellison told the committee that investigators working on Operation Herne, the police inquiry into the activities of undercover officers, had warned him this year that “some aspects of material” they were examining touched on the Lawrence case. However he would not reveal further details because of a pre-existing agreement to keep “material that belongs to others” confidential until later in his review.

Mr Ellison told the committee that he was about half way through reading material relating to the Lawrence investigation. He said he and junior barrister Alison Morgan, had completed seven months worth of work to date and had been paid a combined £190,000 for their services so far.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas