Former Yorkshire police boss Sir Norman Bettison referred to IPCC over Lawrence allegations

17:24 03 July 2013

The Macpherson Inquiry was held in 1998 to examine the Mets original investigation into Stephen Lawrences death

The Macpherson Inquiry was held in 1998 to examine the Mets original investigation into Stephen Lawrences death

Archant

Sir Norman Bettison, the former chief constable of West Yorkshire Police, has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission today amidst fears officers tried to smear the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, his old force has said.

Sir Norman Bettison. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA WireSir Norman Bettison. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson referred Sir Norman, saying he had “significant concerns” about his conduct at the time he was Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police in 1998.

The referral follows a search for evidence across the police service of similar behaviour to that which attempted to discredit the Lawrence family when they were the target of covert surveillance as they sought justice for their murdered son, West Yorkshire Police said.

It is being made alongside a similar matter which has been raised by Greater Manchester Police and their Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd.

Both crime commissioners believe the evidence points to potential misconduct by serving police officers at the time of the Macpherson Inquiry and which requires urgent investigation.

Stephen Lawrence's mother Doreen Lawrence with Stephen's father Neville (right) and brother Stuart (left). Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA WireStephen Lawrence's mother Doreen Lawrence with Stephen's father Neville (right) and brother Stuart (left). Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson said: “I have become aware of three documents following a thorough search requested by West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Mark Gilmore.

“These documents raise significant concerns over the role of Sir Norman Bettison at the time he was Assistant Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police in 1998 in commissioning a report to be prepared in the respect of a key witness appearing before the Macpherson Inquiry.

“This may suggest an attempt to intervene in the course of a public inquiry and influence the manner in which the testimony of a witness, who was due to present evidence before it, was received.

He added: “Doreen Lawrence and her family need their treatment by the police service reviewed independently and this must be done as a matter of urgency.

“I am sure the Independent Police Complaints Commission will do the same for these separate issues of concern indicating possible corrupt practices in the later period around the Macpherson Inquiry.”

He said he was now seeking an urgent meeting with the Home Secretary along with fellow Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Lloyd in Greater Manchester.

“Wider issues of any institutional racism in the police service may need to be tackled with a standalone inquiry but my referral to the IPCC today is to make sure we understand the truth regarding the conduct of Sir Norman Bettison,” Mr Burns-Williamson added.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Crime news

Saturday, February 28, 2015
Alan Cartwright

The teenager stabbed to death while riding his bike in Islington last night has been named as 15-year-old Alan Cartwright.

Saturday, February 28, 2015
A 15-year-old boy was stabbed to death on Caledonian Road Pic: Google

Teen managed to carry on riding before collapsing - murder investigation launched

Friday, February 27, 2015
A teenager was stabbed near the Emirates minutes before Arsenal's Champions League game

Knife attack - just prior to Champions League game - fifth in borough this month

Friday, February 27, 2015
CCTV footage shows when the driver loses control of the black Honda car in Hampton Road

This jaw-dropping footage shows the moment a speeding driver smashes his Honda into five parked cars in a quiet residential street before fleeing.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The theft is all over in the blink of an eye (Picture: City of London Police)

A video of a lightning fast phone robbery by a thief riding a bike along a City street has been released by police who want to raise awareness of this growing crime.

Friday, February 27, 2015
The quiet lane [Photograph by David Peat]

Emergency services have rushed to a street in Walthamstow after a man was stabbed this morning.

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

The former Star Trek co-star proposes a Twitter memorial.

Read more

Russell Tovey has admitted he didn’t realise he was being offered the lead in Banished at first.

Read more

Damian Lewis admitted he is enjoying portraying King Henry VIII in BBC Two’s period drama Wolf Hall.

Read more

Promoted content

A look at one of our previous Design Fairs

Chelsea Old Town Hall will be the venue for the renowned Desire Fair from 6-8 March 2015. This stunning mixed media jewellery and silversmithing event where visitors can purchase direct from contemporary designer makers selected from the best in the UK is an event not to be missed.

Take our quiz and find out!

A survey conducted last year revealed that Britain is the fourth sexiest country in the world, with the UK sex toy industry worth an estimated £250 million a year.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

The political editor will be taking time off for treatment.

It involves a picture of a hand. You can guess what shape it is making.

Quirky London