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The Home Secretary has announced a full public inquiry into undercover policing.
A review into the infiltration of Stephen Lawrence’s family during the murder investigation found that there was “real potential for miscarriages of justice to have occurred” as a result of the Special Demonstration Squad’s actions.
In response to Mark Ellison’s findings, Theresa May announced a new criminal offence of police corruption and a judge-led inquiry into the “deeply troubling” report.
“The picture which emerges about the SDS from this report, and from other material in the public domain, is of significant failings of judgement, intrusive supervision and leadership over a sustained period,” Ms May said in a Commons statement.
“Given the gravity of what has now been uncovered, I have decided that a public inquiry, led by a judge, is necessary.”
Mr Ellison’s report also said there were reasonable grounds to suggest police had "acted corruptly" in their investigations.
It found that the "initial investigation of the murder of Stephen Lawrence was seriously flawed and deserving of severe criticism".
On Det Sgt John Davidson, who was accused of corruption, the report declared that the inquiry "was clearly most troubled about the possible motives behind the investigative deficiencies of DS Davidson”.
These deficiencies included “highly unsatisfactory” handling of an informant, holding unsupervised meetings, and making only incomplete records.
Doreen Lawrence, Stephen’s mother, said she was "not shocked" about the findings of Mr Ellison's report.
"I think I suspected [it] all along, hence why we were determined about asking the Home Secretary to look into Stephen's case," she told ITV.
Former home secretary Jack Straw, who set up the initial Macpherson review into the Lawrence investigation, said the revelations were “most shocking” and blasted the “venality, probably at the highest level of the Metropolitan Police”.
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