Police could face criminal charges after drugs inquiry: Officers in north-east London alleged to have sold cocaine and planted evidence

UP TO 10 police officers have been recommended for criminal charges following a marathon investigation into allegations of drugs trafficking, planting evidence and perversion of justice by police at Stoke Newington in north-east London.

The officers are among 45 investigated by the complaints bureau of the Metropolitan Police in a three- year inquiry which followed accusations that a detective constable was involved in selling cocaine through an intermediary.

In a statement yesterday signalling the end of the inquiry - one of the largest of its type and the biggest in London since the late 1970s - the Police Complaints Authority said 22 files had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service.

At the same time, the Hackney Community Defence Association, which represents most of the complainants, delivered a dossier to Michael Howard, the Home Secretary, stressing its unhappiness with the investigation and calling for a judicial inquiry into policing in the multiracial, deprived area. Mr Howard said he would consider the matter 'very carefully'.

Although the formal end of the inquiry came yesterday, the first of the 22 files went to the CPS in November 1992 and the last in September 1993; further police investigations have since been conducted into points of detail. The CPS is understood to be ready to announce its decision on charges 'within a few weeks'.

The central allegation of Operation Jackpot was that one officer - named in a court as 'Officer X' - was receiving pounds 1,000 a month from a Stoke Newington woman who was selling crack on his behalf. This officer and others were also said to have planted drugs on suspects.

A total of 22 complainants eventually made more than 130 separate allegations naming 45 officers. In addition to those of drugs dealing, 65 allegations were of planting drugs or other evidence, 27 of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, 27 of theft, and 9 of assault.

During the inquiry, eight officers were moved to other stations and three suspended from duty. The authority said two officers had 11 specific allegations made against them, two more had 10 and one had 8. Of the remainder, 18 had between two and six allegations each, and 22 officers had one allegation each. Most of the officers were uniform or detective constables.

Detective Superintendent Ian Russell, the officer who conducted the inquiry, is understood to have recommended charges against about 10 officers at the core of the affair, although more could face disciplinary action later.

However, the CPS has been criticised in the past, particularly in the West Midlands Serious Crime Squad affair, for failing to bring charges, despite recommendations from investigating officers.

Calling for a judicial inquiry yesterday, the Hackney association said it had dealt with 381 complaints against officers from Hackney and Stoke Newington stations since January 1989, and was supporting 83 civil actions against the Metropolitan Police.

Eleven people have had convictions quashed because of doubts about the reliability of evidence given by officers under investigation; a further 16 are waiting to be heard. A large number of prosecutions have also either collapsed or resulted in acquittals because of doubts about the reliability of police evidence.

Sir John Smith, Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said although the allegations involved a 'significant' number of officers, they represented only a tiny minority of the 28,000-strong force. He said that in Stoke Newington there were 'over 300 police officers who are doing a difficult and sometimes dangerous job in that difficult policing environment. The vast majority are untouched by the allegations.'

He added: 'Anybody who is aware of the way we feel about policing, about the way we go about our work, realises that corruption is something which none of us would condone. The bulk of police officers in London today are very, very concerned about any allegation of corruption. We are ardent in our resolve to stamp it out and we will do just that.'

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
News
video
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Amis: Taken to task over rash decisions and ill-judged statements
booksThe Zone of Interest just doesn't work, says James Runcie
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Travel
travelFrom Notting Hill Carnival to Zombeavers at FrightFest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Service Delivery and Support Manager

£55000 - £75000 per annum + excellent benefits: Harrington Starr: Service Deli...

Corporate Tax Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGHEST QUALITY INTERNATIONAL ...

Relationship Manager

£500 - £600 per day: Orgtel: Relationship Manager, London, Banking, Accountant...

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home