Conservative MP questions Lawrence family's compensation

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The Independent Online

Gerald Howarth, a senior Conservative MP, has questioned whether the the Metropolitan Police should pay compensation to the parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. The amount of compensation being considered is allegedly £320,000.

Gerald Howarth, a senior Conservative MP, has questioned whether the the Metropolitan Police should pay compensation to the parents of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence. The amount of compensation being considered is allegedly £320,000.

Mr Howarth, MP for Aldershot, vice chairman of the Tory Home Affairs Committee and a member of the all-party Home Affairs Select Committee, said that although the grief felt by the Lawrence family at the death of their son, as well as the failure to arrest his murderers, was understandable, the alledged amount of the Metropolitan Police's compensation payment brought into question areas of public policy.

He argued that if the Lawrences were entitled to receive this payment, then other victims of crime who felt the police had mishandled their cases might also expect to be treated in a similar manner.

Mr Howarth pointed out the fact that police monetary resources could be better used in uncovering Stephen's murderers, and that the issue of the Lawrences' compensation should be referred to the Criminal Injuries' Compensation Board for their consideration.

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