Met Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has repeated his “shock” at allegations that undercover officers tried to discredit the family of Stephen Lawrence and smear the campaign to bring his killers to justice.
Addressing the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee, Sir Bernard said he’d asked Derbyshire Chief Constable Mick Creedon, who is heading an investigation into the activities of the Met’s undercover SDS squad, to “prioritise” the Lawrence allegations.
The squad operated between 1968 and 2008.
The Commissioner said Mr Creedon’s investigation was looking at “40 years of material” covering every aspect of undercover investigations including sexual relations between officers and targets and the use of dead children’s identities.
He said 30 officers were involved in the investigation, including officers from Derbyshire who had been placed “in significant positions” to help build independence into the system.
Sir Bernard also told Assembly Members that the Independent Police Complaints Commission was also overseeing “four strands” of the investigation and that he had asked them to supervise the investigation into the latest allegations.
Reacting to calls for the public inquiry, Sir Bernard said he would fully co-operate with one if established but that it was not for him to call for one and that he was “confident” the Met’s own investigation “will work:.
In response to questions about separate allegations that some officers fathered children with members of groups they were monitoring, the Commissioner said wanted to meet the women and hear their concerns directly.
He told the committee: “My heart is for trying to meet these women at some point. It’s just when, not whether. They deserve the head of the organisation now to hear their account and to see if there’s anything we can do to help more.”