Walton, the Watchdog and much more questions

Richard Walton

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
26 June 2015

For the last 22 years the murder of Stephen Lawrence has hung over Metropolitan Police, and it continues to do so. In 1998 it threatened to topple the then Commissioner Paul Condon. Over the years it has cost jobs and careers. Those of a more junior rank two decades ago and who have since joined the top echelons are finding it will not go away.

In March 2014 it came back to haunt the head of counter-terrorism, Richard Walton. He was temporarily removed from his post for his role in the spying on the Stephen Lawrence Campaign back in 1998, and his case was referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). He is still under investigation – with four other former- officers as Rob Evans explains in the Guardian.

However, the suspension of Walton was – as is shown here – only ever a cosmetic exercise. More importantly, there are several other lines that indicated less than reputable behaviour by the Met. Working on a set of new profiles for the Undercover Research Portal on Richard Walton, undercover officer N81 and their meeting in Bob Lambert’s garden, some questions came up that need an answer, either from the IPCC, Ellison, or the coming Independent Inquiry.

The main focus on a controversial meeting between Walton and undercover officer organised by Bob Lambert, then acting head of the Special Demonstration Squad, must not overshadow other important questions on the spying on black justice campaigns. All the more reason why next year’s public inquiry needs unhindered access to documents and actors involved if the truth is ever to be learned – because it is clear the Met will not be forthcoming. Continue reading

The Undercover Policing Scrutiny Panel – a whitewash operation exposed…

Capture of tweet

Eveline Lubbers / Undercover Research Group
3 June 2015

Sophie Khan announced to stand down from the Undercover Policing Scrutiny Panel. Via a tweet and a blogpost at the Telegraph site earlier this week; it almost passed unnoticed. Until recently, the existence of this Panel was unknown, even to the Undercover Research Group. But that has changed now. What we found out made us wonder why the likes of Sophie Khan and Ben Bowling – people with a long history of criticising the police and campaigning for justice – decided to join this whitewash operation in the first place.

The National Undercover Scrutiny Panel (or Undercover Policing Oversight Board) is a working group established in 2014 by the College of Policing as ‘part of a set of changes to providing greater transparency and review of undercover policing’. Little is known of it other Continue reading