Stephen Lawrence: MPs told of police spying claims

THE mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence has told MPs she does not “know what to believe anymore” amid claims police officers attempted to smear her family.

Stephen Lawrence was 18 when he was killed in April 1993. Picture: PA/ Lawrence family
Stephen Lawrence was 18 when he was killed in April 1993. Picture: PA/ Lawrence family
Stephen Lawrence was 18 when he was killed in April 1993. Picture: PA/ Lawrence family

Appearing before the home affairs select committee, Doreen Lawrence said she had no confidence in the police and it was not right for “officers to investigate each other”.

She said: “I have no confidence whatsoever.

“Over the years, I was beginning to have a level of trust, we had the investigation and the court case… Now I just don’t know what to believe any more.”

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She added: “You can’t have police officers investigating each other. It’s proven that’s not the right way to do things.”

Claims have been made by former undercover officer Peter Francis that attempts were made to smear the Lawrence family following 18-year-old Stephen’s murder in April 1993.

Two existing inquiries are to examine the claims – a police investigation into the activities of undercover officers and another into allegations of corruption in the original investigation into the murder, led by Mark Ellison QC, who is also appearing before the committee.

Mrs Lawrence said that in the wake of Stephen’s murder she had felt suspicious of family liaison officers. “The only time that we were questioning certain actions of the police was when the liaison officers were coming to our home,” she said. “My understanding of what their role should have been was to give us information about how the investigation was carried out. But they spent most of their time… asking us about who individuals were who were in our home and what their names were.”

When asked by committee member Michael Ellis whether she felt as if the officers were spying on her family, she said: “It felt like that, at the time it felt like that. Whenever we asked questions about the investigation we were never given any answers.”

She later added: “We were uncomfortable with the liaison officers, we did not understand why they were questioning and asking who people were in our home.”

She said she believes undercover officers could have searched for information to smear her family because they were outspoken in their campaign for justice.

Mr Ellison, who was asked to lead the inquiry in May 2012, said he and junior barrister Alison Morgan had completed seven months worth of work to date. He revealed that the pair had been paid £190,000 for their services so far.