Former detectives to help find lost Lawrence case files

 

Former detectives are being asked to help find missing documents from the inquiry into alleged corruption in the original Stephen Lawrence case.

The head of Scotland Yard, Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe, said a trawl of documents going back 20 years had failed to uncover everything as he prepared to respond to demands from the dead teenager's family for the reopening of inquiries into the initial botched police response to the 1993 racist murder. Earlier this year, The Independent revealed previously secret Scotland Yard files claiming that an investigator on the initial inquiry was corrupt and engaged in extensive criminal activity. The family has maintained that corruption played a part in the initial failed investigation and meant that only two members of the racist gang who stabbed the teenager in Eltham were convicted and not until this year. The Macpherson Inquiry found that incompetence rather than corruption was to blame for the initial failings.

Doreen Lawrence wrote to the Home Secretary Theresa May and Mr Hogan-Howe following the latest revelations and Mr Hogan-Howe told MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee yesterday that he acknowledged her concerns. "The first thing we have done is to try to find all the material around the investigations that have previously happened in terms of the Lawrence inquiry about any allegations of corruption in it." He added: "After 20 years... we've not been able to locate all of it."

He said that officers involved in the original anti-corruption probe were to be asked where "some of these documents might be" before a decision is made to open any inquiry.

The hunt for the documents comes while the force faces renewed controversy over racism as it emerged that an officer will be charged with racially abusing a suspect last August. Prosecutors said yesterday there was enough evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction of Pc Alex MacFarlane following a review by the Crown Prosecution Service of footage which appeared to show the officer say to a black man: "The problem with you is you will always be a nigger, yeah?". The decision was an about-turn for the CPS, which had said in January that the officer should not face charges.

The case is one of 11 being investigated by either the Metropolitan Police or the independent watchdog after allegations of racist assaults, bullying and abuse involving some 20 officers and a member of police staff came to light. Mr Hogan-Howe said that he welcomed the review and that it would now be tested in court.

He said that he wanted the six cases being investigated internally by the Metropolitan police to be completed within four weeks. He added that he was personally leading work to improve the culture of the force.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable