Stephen Lawrence Inquiry

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:13 pm on 29th March 1999.

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Photo of Jack Straw Jack Straw The Secretary of State for the Home Department 5:13 pm, 29th March 1999

I accept the hon. Gentleman's comment. Moreover, when he says that many people believe that that practice is unjust, these days, that also includes police officers. It is a matter of record that the Police Federation and, I believe, the Police Superintendents Association and the Association of Chief Police Officers accept the need for there to be an independent investigation of serious complaints, but not for less serious ones.

Currently, serious complaints are investigated by police services other than the one to which the relevant officers belong. In my experience, those investigations are extremely thorough and independent. None the less, the fact remains that they may not have the appearance of independence, which is why I am pleased that there is such widespread support for some changes.