Police tell Stephen Lawrence's parents: murder team is still on trail of suspects

Officers investigating 1993 killing are following up two dozen leads resulting from murder trial

The Stephen Lawrence inquiry team will remain at full strength while officers follow up telephone calls made by the public in response to the jailing of two men for the 1993 murder.

Stephen's parents were told yesterday that there were no plans to run down the team during their first meeting with prosecutors and police since Gary Dobson and David Norris were jailed last month. The meeting came at the end of a week when the Metropolitan Police was under pressure to look at new claims of corruption involving a key member of the team which bungled the initial murder investigation.

Police said yesterday that they were continuing to follow up 28 telephone calls made in the aftermath of the court case. Plans to speak to Dobson, 36, and Norris, 35, in prison have been put on hold after they said they would appeal against the verdicts.

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer, was at yesterday's meeting at the headquarters of the Crown Prosecution Service. Alison Saunders, the chief prosecutor for London, said: "A number of issues were discussed and we treat meetings with the families of victims as confidential."

The Independent this week revealed previously unpublished police intelligence reports giving the fullest account yet of alleged corruption by a detective on the inquiry team.

Kit Malthouse, London's Deputy Mayor for Policing, has asked the Met for a report into claims that it covered up the evidence about the conduct of its inquiry. Scotland Yard said that its initial assessment was that it did not include anything not known to the force and the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which dismissed previous allegations of corruption aired a Panorama programme in 2006.

However, representatives for the Lawrence family said they were unaware of the scale of claims made by senior anti-corruption officers against Sgt Davidson from 1998. The Lawrence family has long suspected that corruption played a part in the force's failure to arrest Dobson, Norris and three other members of a white gang, despite dozens of people coming forward to name them within days of the 1993 fatal stabbing in Eltham, south-east London.

The Macpherson inquiry in 1999 reported that incompetence rather than corruption was to blame for the failure to catch the killers. The files suggested that Detective Sergeant John Davidson, a lead investigator, was a major player in a ring of bent detectives "operating as a professional organised crime syndicate".

The files also suggested that he had corrupt relations with informants, dealt in Class A drugs and "would deal in all aspects of criminality when the opportunities presented themselves", according to the files written by senior anti-corruption officers.

Mr Davidson never faced criminal charges and retired on ill health grounds to run a bar on the Spanish island of Menorca after prosecutors decided there was a lack of corroborating evidence. The Scottish-born detective denies being corrupt,and has previously described the allegations against him as "devastating and false".

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor