Saturday, 6 July 2013

Police to check Macpherson records

Source BBC News@

Stephen LawrenceThe Macpherson Inquiry looked into the Met's investigation of Stephen Lawrence's murder

The Home Office has asked more police forces to search their records to see if surveillance was carried out on anti-racism campaigners involved in the Macpherson Inquiry in 1998.

The West Midlands and Avon and Somerset forces have been asked to investigate.

Hearings for the inquiry, following the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence, were held in several cities.

Meanwhile, an ex-officer says he authorised secret taping of a meeting with Stephen's friend, Duwayne Brooks.

The Macpherson Inquiry was set up in 1998 to look into the Metropolitan Police's investigation of the murder of 18-year-old Stephen in Eltham, south London, in April 1993.

It uncovered failings in the investigation of the crime and its 100,000 page report concluded the force was "institutionally racist".

At hearings across the country, local race relations organisations, victim support groups, probation services and police gave evidence on problems with race crime and how they were tackled.

On Wednesday, it was revealed the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) had been asked to investigate concerns that Sir Norman Bettison tried to influence the way a key witness gave evidence to the Macpherson Inquiry, in Bradford, when he was assistant chief constable of West Yorkshire Police.

Greater Manchester Police has also referred itself to the IPCC after it was alleged its Special Branch sent a memo to officers asking for information on "groups or individuals" due to attend the inquiry in Manchester.

'Nothing found'

West Midlands Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: "Following recent events across the country and subsequent correspondence from the Home Office, West Midlands Police are undertaking checks to see whether there is any material held that suggests intelligence or surveillance activity was ordered or carried out in respect of the Macpherson Inquiry or those connected to the inquiry."

John Grieve in 2009Mr Grieve said he wanted an "unassailable record" of the discussions

The force would report back to the Home Office by 10 July, he added.

A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said the force had already "looked into any implications from the Stephen Lawrence case a couple of weeks ago but didn't find anything".

"However, in light of a letter from the home secretary we are now carrying out a separate review to make sure we didn't miss anything."

Meanwhile, retired officer John Grieve, who was in charge of the police inquiry into Stephen's murder, has admitted authorising one secret recording of a meeting between Stephen's friend Duwayne Brooks, his lawyers and detectives in May 2000.

He said he wanted to keep an "unassailable record" of discussions with Mr Brooks.

Reports that the recording took place followed claims that police were ordered to find "dirt" on the Lawrence family in the years following Stephen's murder.

The home secretary has ordered two existing inquiries to look at the allegations and the Lawrence family has demanded a public inquiry.

'Within frameworks'

Former Met deputy assistant commissioner Mr Grieve said he feared that if he had asked the other participants for approval to tape the meeting overtly it would not have been given.

He said he deeply regretted "any distress, dismay or alarm that my decisions may have caused".

Duwayne Brooks and his lawyer Jane Deighton outside Nick Clegg's office on 5 July 2013Ms Deighton and his lawyer, Jane Deighton, held talks with the deputy prime minister on Friday

Mr Grieve said: "Every decision made was based on the information available at the time and conducted within ethical, legal, necessary and proportionate frameworks."

The lawyer in the recording, Jane Deighton, has said she believed taping had taken place on more than one instance.

Scotland Yard is investigating claims police briefings attended by Mr Brooks had been secretly recorded at the offices of Deighton Guedalla, in Islington, north London, in 1999 or 2000.

In a statement, the Met said its Directorate of Professional Standards investigators had found documentation authorising the recording of one meeting in May 2000.

It said Mr Grieve authorised the recording and at this stage it believed the "relevant policy" had been followed.

Đăng ký: Tieng Anh Vui


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