THE Church of England has called for a full inquiry into the
allegations that the police tried to smear the family of the
murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
The Church's Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns,
which is chaired by the Archdeacon of Reigate, the Ven. Daniel
Kajumba, said that fears that there was "a rottenness at the core
of UK policing" could be examined only by a "full, open, and
independent investigation, now".
The Lawrence family and the Labour Party have called for an
inquiry into the allegations by a former police officer, Peter
Francis, that he was asked to find "dirt" on the Lawrence family.
The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has instructed two existing
inquiries to examine the allegations.
The Committee's statement said: "If true, the allegations . . .
in recent days would show beyond doubt that we are not just hearing
the revelation that some police officers behaved appallingly to the
family and friends of a murder victim 20 years ago. In the light of
what has been alleged, many people are now concluding that
significant numbers of police officers, including some at senior
level, knew of, and approved of, what was happening. The belief
that this was not just a few bad apples, but a rottenness at the
core of UK policing, needs to be tested . . .
"These new allegations do, sadly, resonate with the belief of
many black and minority ethnic Anglicans that institutional racism
within UK policing is not simply an entry in the history books, but
a sickening reality today."