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Corruption allegations have long dogged the Lawrence case

Breaking news that two officers have been arrested for allegedly failing to pass on information relating to the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence comes three years after the BBC made serious accusations of police corruption.

The BBC Panorama programme ‘The Boys Who Killed Stephen Lawrence’ broadcast in 2006, asked serious questions about whether officers involved in the case had “helped shield the killers of black teenager Stephen Lawrence from conviction.”

We do not know whether the arrests today are in any way connected to those past allegations (see updates below this article). Until more information is forthcoming, it is best to assume that the two men arrested today are not those named by the BBC.

However, suggestions that police attempted to subvert the investigation into the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence by a white gang in Eltham have lingered in the air for many years.

The Stephen Lawrence inquiry had this to say about an ex-detective sergeant who arrested and interviewed Gary Dobson, one of the five key suspects:

A feature of those interviews involves a passage in which DS [John] Davidson appears to be encouraging Mr Dobson by a suggestion that the murder had not in fact been a racist killing.

DS Davidson explains this by saying that Mr Dobson appeared to be upset about the suggestion that he might have been a racist, so that the interview was conducted in order to go along with Mr Dobson in this vein in the hope that he would open up and eventually make some useful admission.” (Para: 19.31)

It has been widely reported that DS Davidson “had a corrupt relationship with Clifford Norris, the father of one of the murder suspects.”

Davidson, refused to give an interview to BBC Panorama, but a TV crew did track him down in Spain, where he now runs a bar. He firmly refuted the allegations against him.

Once again, for the record, we are not suggesting that Davidson is one of the pair arrested today.

It is worth noting, however, that the Independent Police Complaints Commission launched a probe into the BBC allegations. Today, the IPCC made two arrests:

The retired constable, 62, and member of police staff, 53, were arrested on suspicion of perverting the course of justice in relation to the alleged non-disclosure of material, the police watchdog said.”

We sincerely hope that this is not another of many false dawns that have dogged this tragic and iconic case.

UPDATE! 2:24pm (18th December)

IPCC say that the investigation in 2006/7 and the arrests today are “not in any way linked.” A spokesperson could not comment on a name that was put to them. For clarification, it was the IPCC, not the Metropolitan Police, that made the arrests.

By Lester Holloway

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One Response

  1. Is this another political gimick by New Labour?

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