Officer says 'disruption tactics' used in Stephen Lawrence case

Jul 16, 2014

Former officer Clive Driscoll says some senior officers never wanted a successful prosecution

The detective who secured convictions against two of Stephen Lawrence's killers believes that some senior Scotland Yard officers never wanted a successful prosecution.

Clive Driscoll, a former detective chief inspector, has told BBC Newsnight that "disruption tactics" were used within the force during his recent reinvestigation into Lawrence's death.

David Norris and Gary Dobson were convicted for the murder in 2012, 19 years after Lawrence was stabbed to death at the age of 18 in a racist attack near a bus stop in Eltham, south-east London. But Driscoll, who admitted he did not have evidence he could present to a tribunal, said that "people in high places I would have expected to have the enthusiasm [to prosecute the killers] did not".

Driscoll, who retired this year against his will, also claimed that senior officers in the Met had discussed whether to hold back certain documents from the Ellison Review, the independent inquiry that looked into allegations of police corruption in the original Lawrence murder case.

Asked by Newsnight if he would now trust the Metropolitan Police if he was the Lawrence family, Driscoll said: "No, I probably would not."

He added: "One bad decision around disclosure undoes the remarkable work that police officers do up and down the country. For me, just be open and honest, warts and all."

Duwayne Brooks, the surviving victim of the attack that killed Lawrence in April 1993, described Driscoll's departure from the force as a "terrible blow" and said that many breakthroughs in the case were down to his personal style.

He said that he and many other witnesses would talk only to Driscoll because he had spent years winning their confidence.

A spokesman for the Met said that no relevant material was intentionally withheld. Their policy was to be open and transparent and they are still committed to continuing the Lawrence investigation.

Driscoll, who served for more than 30 years with the police, has also claimed that he was moved from another investigation after he revealed plans to investigate politicians over child abuse claims in the 1980s.

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