Leading article: The Lawrence case is far from over

Share

It took the full weight of the Macpherson inquiry to expose the institutional racism that hampered the Metropolitan Police investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Now, fully 19 years after the teenager's fatal stabbing, evidence from secret Scotland Yard files, published in this newspaper today, suggests there may be more – and worse – to come.

That one of the leading detectives on the Lawrence case was widely suspected of being a "major player" in a corruption ring "operating as a professional organised crime syndicate" is shocking enough. But the accusation that a crooked relationship between Detective Sergeant John Davidson and the drug-dealing father of one of the prime suspects may have had a bearing on the investigation – and that the Met's anti-graft squad knew of the alleged links and deliberately kept them back from the public inquiry – is more alarming still.

So far, the Met is sticking to the same line it took with Sir William Macpherson: there is evidence that DS Davidson was corrupt, but nothing to link those activities to the Lawrence case. With supergrass Neil Putnam claiming otherwise, and discrepancies over the debriefing process, that is simply not good enough.

The claims heap pressure on the Met, which is already reeling from last week's Leveson Inquiry session revealing a "network of corrupted officials" accepting bribes from The Sun in return for "salacious gossip", and was buffetted further yesterday by the appearance of Paul Stephenson – the former Commissioner forced to resign over his links to Neil Wallis – to answer questions about his relationship with the former News of the World executive arrested over the scandal.

The murder of Stephen Lawrence, and the flawed police investigation that followed, are stains on British society and British justice. With only two of the five people involved in the killing convicted, it cannot be over yet. And in the light of the latest appalling allegations of corruption, there must be a full, independent inquiry into the activities of the Met investigation team. No more prevarications. No more cover-ups. We owe it to Stephen Lawrence, and to his parents.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before