People did not believe police were corrupt - Baroness Lawrence


Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon, the mother of Stephen Lawrence, has described the resistance she faced when she first suspected that the police investigation into her son's death was corrupt.

She said she found it "very difficult" to persuade others around her that police misconduct had taken place and that her family had undergone "21 years of struggle" to discover the truth.

She thanked the home secretary and the Home Office minister in the Lords following a statement on 6 March 2014 regarding Mark Ellison QC's review of the investigation into Stephen Lawrence's murder.

Mr Ellison QC, who secured convictions in 2012 against two men for the murder of Mr Lawrence, was asked last year to carry out the investigation into whether corruption had obstructed the investigation.

The review found that a Metropolitan Police officer worked within the "Lawrence camp" while a previous inquiry into the death was under way.

Lord Taylor described the findings as "deeply troubling". The home secretary had earlier announced a judge-led public inquiry is to be launched into the work of undercover officers.

Lord Taylor also outlined the government's plans to introduce a new criminal offence of police corruption.

He thanked Lady Lawrence for her dignity and explained the government had not been able to give her advance sight of the statement due to the need for it to be covered by parliamentary privilege.

Shadow home affairs spokesman Lord Rosser broadly welcomed the government's plans but asked for assurance that the National Crime Agency will look at whether information was wilfully withheld from the Macpherson Inquiry and whether it was wilfully destroyed.

He expressed Labour's preference for a cross-party consultation on what form the public inquiry into undercover officers should take.

Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang of white youths in April 1993.

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