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Allegations that undercover officers were used to smear reputations of Stephen Lawrence's family will be investigated, says Home Secretary.
Home Secretary Theresa May announced on Monday (24 June) that the latest allegations of misconduct by the Metropolitan Police Service’s Special Demonstration Squad in relation to the murder of Stephen Lawrence will be investigated by Chief Constable Mick Creedon as part of Operation Herne.
Mark Ellison QC’s existing review into allegations of corruption by officers involved in the original Stephen Lawrence investigation will also now include these latest allegations.
There is already an independent investigation underway into the Special Demonstration Squad looking into allegations made in 2011 that officers used the identities of dead babies as cover personas and had inappropriate sexual relationships whilst undercover. This will now be extended to look at the latest allegations in relation to the Lawrence family.
The Home Secretary said
I want to be clear that all such allegations will be investigated.
Last year the Home Secretary asked Mark Ellison QC to review the work that the Met has undertaken into allegations of corruption in the original Stephen Lawrence murder investigation. The Home Secretary has asked Mr Ellison to ‘go as far and wide’ as he would like in his investigation.
We must await the findings of the Ellison Review – which given the latest allegations will be published later than originally intended – and when the Review concludes, a decision will have to be made about whether its findings should lead to any formal investigation.
Mr Ellison was the lead barrister in the successful prosecutions of Gary Dobson and David Norris.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary will report later this week on how the police have implemented the recommendations of their report into undercover policing following allegations about Mark Kennedy.
The Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice announced last week that the Home Office would be legislating to raise the authorisation level for long-term undercover deployments to Chief Constable level and will introduce a system of independent approval by the Office of the Surveillance Commissioners to all renewals of undercover deployment exceeding 12 months.
That legislation will be in place by the end of the year.