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
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview