11:17am Tuesday 3rd June 2014
By Bruce Thain
Harrow’s former police borough commander is being formally investigated over his conduct after the murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Commander Richard Walton, who was borough commander in Harrow from 2007 to 2009, is a key part of the investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched yesterday.
The IPCC said it had started an investigation into allegations of "discreditable conduct and breaches of honesty and integrity" on the part of Commander Richard Walton.
The investigation started following claims Mr Walton met with met an undercover officer who spied on the Stephen Lawrence family in 1998, before the Macpherson Inquiry report was published a year later.
Commander Walton was temporarily removed from his job as head of the counter-terrorism command SO15 in March following the publication of a report by Mark Ellison QC in March into the original Lawrence murder investigation.
IPCC deputy chairman Sarah Green said: "Mark Ellison's review highlighted a number of extremely serious matters which strike at the heart of public confidence in the police.
“Following the review, I asked the MPS to consider whether the conduct of any officers or former officers should be recorded and referred to the IPCC.
“Having now received referrals in relation to all three of the above officers, and in view of the seriousness of the matter and the significant public interest, I have determined the IPCC should conduct an independent investigation.”
In a statement the IPCC said Mr Walton, who was then a detective inspector met with the undercover officer and “obtained information pertaining to the Lawrence family and their supporters, potentially undermining the Inquiry and public confidence.”
The police watchdog said it will also investigate “allegations of discreditable conduct” by two former officers.
Detective Inspector Robert Lambert and Commander Colin Black, were both identified in the Ellison review as having played a part in organising the meeting with the undercover officer.
Steven Lawrence, 18, was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack by a gang as he waited at a bus stop in April 1993.
In 2012, more than 18 years after the attack Gary Dobson and David Norris were found guilty of the murder after a review of forensic evidence in the case.
© Copyright 2001-2014 Newsquest Media Group