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Bring in outside force to nail all Stephen Lawrence’s killers, says his father

Bring in outside force to nail all Stephen Lawrence’s killers, says his father

Stephen Lawrence’s father says he doesn’t trust the Metropolitan Police to do their jobs
The father of Stephen Lawrence is demanding an outside police force is brought in to nail the final racist gang members who murdered his teenage son 30 years ago.

Dr Neville Lawrence, 81, says the Metropolitan Police is “not fit for purpose” and can’t be trusted to pursue new leads that might arise, which could let him see full justice before dying.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mr Lawrence told the Standard about three decades of pain and why Stephen’s body is buried in Jamaica.

Stephen, 18, was stabbed to death by racists in an unprovoked attack at a bus stop in Eltham, on April 22, 1993. The bungled original investigation was hampered by racism and alleged corruption. The 1999 Macpherson report branded the Met institutionally racist.

Mayor Sadiq Khan and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer are expected to attend a memorial service on Stephen Lawrence Day, tomorrow’s national commemoration.

Mr Lawrence says he has no interest in meeting Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley because the police chief won’t accept Baroness Casey’s recent conclusion that the force is institutionally racist, misogynist and homophobic.

He said: “I grew up as a child thinking the Metropolitan Police was the best force in the world. With Rowley I’ve made it plain, I don’t want to talk to him. I’m not going to waste my breath. He knows a lot about what is happening in the force. It’s not fit for purpose for black people in this country.”

It took 19 years for two of Stephen’s five killers to be brought to justice. Retired Detective Chief Inspector Clive Driscoll, who caught Gary Dobson, 47, and David Norris, 46, was told by a trial judge the Met shouldn’t “close the file” with “three or four other killers of Stephen Lawrence at large”. Driscoll said he was probing an alleged sixth member when taken off the case.

Mr Lawrence said: “There’s nobody in the Metropolitan Police I would trust to do what they are supposed to do. If Clive Driscoll was still in the force, I would feel more comfortable. At least you have one person. Can they send me another officer who, once he leaves the front door, I believe he’s going to do the job? The judge said to Clive, ‘Go and catch the rest’ and within weeks they got rid of him. So what’s that telling you? They’re not interested.

“If there’s powerful evidence to convict anyone who was part of that gang, I wouldn’t want the Metropolitan Police to have it. If it’s possible, a different police force somewhere in this country should take over the case.”

He added: “I’m convinced there is something why they don’t want this case to be solved. There’s somebody that may be involved with these boys who, if they talk, that person will be in trouble… But I’m a determined person. I think somehow all those others will eventually go to prison for my son’s murder. I don’t know how long I am alive for. I’m now 81. But I pray I see that before I go.” Norris will become eligible for parole next year and Dobson in 2025. Mr Lawrence, who forgave them after being baptised in a Seventh-Day Adventist church, plans to speak at both hearings to encourage them to admit their crimes.

Mr Lawrence yesterday spoke at an event in front of 700 Crown Prosecution Service staff at their HQ in Westminster.

Lionel Idan, Chief Crown Prosecutor for London South, said: “We must strive to work together now, to tackle these issues and the quiet dignity and strength of Dr Lawrence serves to remind us of the need to keep Stephen’s legacy alive for generations to come.”
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