File of evidence being sent to CPS following conclusion of Stephen Lawrence corruption investigation
An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation into whether corruption played a part in the original investigation into the murder of Stephen Lawrence and the attack on Duwayne Brooks on 22 April 1993 is complete. A file of evidence will now be provided to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to consider whether anyone should face charges.
This extensive investigation has been undertaken for the past six years by the National Crime Agency (NCA) under the IOPC’s direction and control.
IOPC Regional Director Sarah Green said:
“This has been a vast and comprehensive investigation by the NCA, involving the gathering and analysis of several million pages of information and intelligence spanning over 27 years since the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence and the attack on Duwayne Brooks on 22 April 1993. NCA investigators have also interviewed over 150 people including serving and former police officers and staff involved in the original murder enquiry, relevant witnesses and others, including journalists with in-depth knowledge of the original investigation.
“In 2014 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) referred to us the conduct of one former officer, who had some involvement with the original investigation into Stephen’s murder, to consider whether that officer had acted corruptly during that investigation. The allegations faced were that they were improperly influenced or motivated, to protect at least one of the suspects during the original murder investigation. Following exhaustive enquiries, the officer was advised in early 2019 that they were no longer subject to this investigation because there was no indication of corruption on their part in relation to the investigation of Stephen’s murder.
“Prior to that decision and as the evidence developed, in 2018 we asked the MPS to refer the conduct of four former police officers to the IOPC in relation to their handling of the early part of the murder investigation, and well-documented failings, for consideration of whether they may have committed the criminal offence of misconduct in public office. All four former officers were in senior roles at various times during the first few weeks of the investigation.
“At the end of an investigation of this type, the IOPC must determine whether there is an indication that any police officer, during the course of their duties, may have committed a criminal offence. Following thorough and careful analysis of the evidence, we have decided there is an indication that four former officers may have committed the offence of misconduct in public office in relation to their actions and omissions prior to the arrests of the five key suspects for Stephen’s murder in 1993. We will be providing a full file of evidence to the CPS over coming days.
“It is important to note that a referral to the CPS does not necessarily mean that criminal charges will follow. It will now be for prosecutors to determine, applying the tests set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors, whether charges should follow and, if so for whom and what those charges may be.”