Plebgate: I have experience of police telling lies, says Stephen's mother Baroness Lawrence

 

The mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence said sections of Britain's communities were fully aware that the "police do tell lies" long before the so-called "plebgate" scandal.

Speaking in the week that she took her seat in the House of Lords, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon said she had personal experience of officers not telling the truth.

In an interview with The Independent she said: "People like me know the police do tell lies." She added: "It is not all police officers but there are elements within the police force that do tell lies."

Earlier this week the Independent Police Complaints Commission suggested police officers should face misconduct hearings over allegedly misleading accounts of a conversation with Tory MP Andrew Mitchell. He was forced to resign as Chief Whip after it was claimed he had called Downing Street officers "plebs".

The row escalated after Prime Minister David Cameron said he was convinced there had been "wrongdoing" and described the conduct of officers as "unacceptable". Mr Mitchell was also backed by the Home Secretary Theresa May who suggested he should receive an apology.  An internal investigation by West Mercia police into the affair concluded they had no case to answer.

Baroness Lawrence said her family had first-hand experience of police duplicity in their long battle for justice for the teenager who was murdered in 1993.

"What happened around Stephen's case was when we were going around the private prosecution we were told by the officers that after going back over the papers they could not believe how bad the original investigation was.

"Then when we had the inquest one officer under oath said the first investigation went fine and the only problem was with the family liaison officer when they had specifically said to us how bad it was. Why lie at that point?  They wanted to make us look bad and to appear as if we were the ones that caused all the problems.  Police officers do lie," she said.

Baroness Lawrence said she intends to use her position as a Labour peer to provide a "voice for the ordinary people".  She said more needed to be done to help combat soaring unemployment rates amongst young black men particularly in London and that there should be a review of sentencing guidelines to reduce the disproportionate number of black people sent to jail.

Two leading barristers are due to report in December on claims made by a former undercover officer that the Metropolitan Police conducted a smear campaign against the Lawrence family and their friends in the wake of Stephen's murder.

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
News
The cartoon depicts the UK (far left) walking around a Syrian child refugee
newsIn an exclusive artwork for The Independent, Ali Ferzat attacks Britain's lack of 'humanity'
Life and Style
tech
Sport
footballManager attacks Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp after criticism of Diego Costa's apparent stamping
News
video
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore