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The Independent this week revealed previously unpublished police intelligence reports giving the fullest account yet of alleged corruption by a detective on the inquiry team.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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn