IPCC to investigate Hillsborough police offier Sir Norman Bettison over report on anti-racism campaigner

The Independent Police Complaints Commission said police systems may have been misused

The former Chief Constable of West Yorkshire, Sir Norman Bettison, is to be investigated over claims he ordered his officers to compile a detailed report on the anti-racism campaigner Mohammed Amran, before he testified to the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of the teenager Stephen Lawrence.

The document – apparently stretching to six pages, covering every available piece of biographical evidence on the Bradford community worker – is at the centre of an inquiry announced by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) today.

The body will examine whether Sir Norman was “motivated or influenced by racial discrimination” in seeking information that could have been used to smear Mr Amran.

The IPCC has declared there was no “legitimate justification” for gathering the evidence and that Sir Norman may be guilty of “the misuse of police information systems and unlawful processing of the witness’s (sensitive) personal data.”

Mr Amran has been prevented by West Yorkshire Police from showing the dossier of evidence, which was referred to the IPCC by the West Yorkshire Police Crime and Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson, to a third party. The force showed him the document on condition that he signed a confidentiality agreement; the IPCC is not yet ready to share it with him.

The document is understood to include details relating to Mr Amran’s birth in Pakistan, family connections and his influence in Bradford.

It is clear that Sir Norman’s officers concluded that he was influential and a strong communicator, who had become a very high-profile figure. They also concluded that Mr Amran’s family members had influence in Britain and Pakistan.

Sir Norman was delighted with the document and is understood to have signed it when it was despatched to him, indicating what an “excellent piece of work” it was.

Mr Amran had previously been the subject of an even more damning 167-page dossier compiled by the West Yorkshire force in 2001. This document was part of a lobbying campaign to persuade the then head of the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Gurbux Singh, to remove Mr Amran from his post as a CRE commissioner.

Details of the document emerged after the Home Secretary Theresa May ordered police forces around the country to examine their files after a claim by an undercover officer that attempts were made to smear the family of Stephen Lawrence following the murder of the 18-year-old in 1993.

The police watchdog said that it would not investigate because of a lack of evidence to back up the claims of the former undercover officer Peter Francis. He has declined to speak to an inquiry set up to look into the allegations of wrongdoing by covert police. He has said that he would give evidence only at a public inquiry.

Deborah Glass, the deputy chairwoman of the IPCC, said: “While the allegations are serious, and indicate potential grave misconduct, there is as yet no information or evidence to support them and the fact that the maker of the allegations is unwilling to talk to anyone in a position to investigate them means their credibility cannot properly be assessed at this stage.”

Indications that further intelligence work was being carried out by officers in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire would also not be investigated by the watchdog, it said yesterday.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
RuPaul interview: The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head

RuPaul interview

The drag star on being inspired by Bowie, never fitting in, and saying the first thing that comes into your head
Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

Secrets of comedy couples

What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

The best swimwear for men

From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

Mark Hix goes summer foraging

 A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

Aaron Ramsey interview

Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms