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.

Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Life and Style
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
The John Peel Lecture has previously been given by Pete Townshend of The Who, Billy Bragg and Charlotte Church
musicGodfather of punk will speak on 'free music in a capitalist society'
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
News
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments