An inquiry into the work of undercover police has found “no evidence” to back claims that officers sought information to smear the family of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, a senior officer has claimed.
The Chief Constable of Derbyshire police, Mick Creedon, who is leading the Operation Herne investigation into Scotland Yard’s now-defunct Special Demonstration Squad (SDS), told MPs there is no evidence to support the allegations in documents he has seen so far.
Stephen’s parents, Neville and Doreen, have called for a public inquiry to be held into the claims, which caused outrage when made public by a former undercover officer last month.
Yesterday, Home Secretary Theresa May made clear she would back such a probe if it was supported by lawyer Mark Ellison QC, who is currently leading a review of allegations of police corruption in the original investigation into Stephen’s death.
But appearing at the Home Affairs Select Committee, Mr Creedon said no evidence has been found so far to support the allegations.
“There is nothing in Operation Herne which suggests any attempt whatsoever to do two things – firstly to be tasked against the Stephen Lawrence family, and secondly to besmirch the Stephen Lawrence family,” he said.
Operation Herne is investigating a whole raft of allegations about the work of undercover officers at Scotland Yard, including revelations that the force used the identities of dozens of dead children as part of their work.
But Mr Creedon said that, while the relatives deserved an apology, revealing the names used “would and could put undercover officers at risk”.