17:26 Thursday 6th March 2014
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
[C]HRIS MANN: A public inquiry is to be held into the way undercover police officers operated during the investigation into the murder of London teenager Stephen Lawrence. It follows a review described by the Home Secretary Theresa May as “profoundly shocking”. More now from our political reporter John Adderley.
JOHN ADDERLEY: Well this will be yet another inquiry relating to the murder of Stephen Lawrence 21 years ago. Two men were jailed for murder, but not until 2012. And this new inquiry, to be led by a judge, follows a review published today into the police investigations into the case. And the Government says that public trust in policing is at stake, and that’s why the Home Secretary has announced the new public inquiry. The review out today finds reasonable grounds to suggest that corruption was taking place on the part of one police officer, and that key evidence about police corruption was subject to mass shredding in 2003. So there could have been more corruption, but the evidence maybe was lost or destroyed. And the review talks about undercover policing. The review found that a Metropolitan Police spy, so called, worked within the wider Lawrence camp. And the review finds this highly questionable.
CHRIS MANN: So John, what’s the reaction been in Parliament?
JOHN ADDERLEY: I think it’s fair to say there was shock on all sides in the Commons as the Home Secretary gave details of the review, and then announced the public inquiry. She said it’s of “the utmost seriousness”, and “of grave concern” to everyone. And it isn’t just about the Stephen Lawrence case, because the revelations about undercover police operations and the extraordinary level of secrecy involved, as the review puts it, the failure to reveal officers’ true identities to court, or to correct evidence they thought was wrong, all that meant according to Theresa May that there is actually the real potential for miscarriages of justice spanning decades.
CHRIS MANN: John Adderley there, our reporter from Westminster.