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Lawrence: Police watchdog failing

The police watchdog is failing and does not delve deep enough into complaints, the mother of murdered Stephen Lawrence has said.

Doreen Lawrence said the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was effectively the police investigating themselves.

"Until they change the culture of who is investigating, then I don't think things will be any different," she told MPs. "I don't feel it's as independent as it should be. It's still police officers investigating police officers, even though they're retired. It gives me the air of them investigating each other."

Ms Lawrence added that she had no confidence in the watchdog, saying: "I feel that sometimes they have not delved deep enough.

"I sometimes wonder whether the IPCC has enough teeth to deal with things. Do they give them enough powers to deal with things? That's a question I don't know. If you don't have the teeth to deal with things when something occurs, then what do you do?"

Last week, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that barrister Mark Ellison QC will assess whether there is any evidence that any officer acted corruptly in the initial investigation into the death of the teenager and if there are any further lines of investigation linked to possible corruption.

The review team will also consider whether the original Macpherson Inquiry was provided with all the relevant material connected with any possible corruption and aims to complete its findings by next July.

Asked if she was satisfied with the review, rather than the public inquiry she called for, Ms Lawrence said: "I'm not satisfied as such."

She told MPs on the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee: "I look at it as a starting point and I'm optimistic that if anything comes out of the review, there will be public inquiry. I think it needs to delve a little deeper than the review."

But she said Mr Ellison has "tried to reassure me he will leave no stone unturned".

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